Bay Ridge

Xaverian names alumnus as varsity basketball coach

July 19, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Tom Burns, who graduated from Xaverian High School in 1983, is the new head coach of the boys’ varsity basketball team. Photo courtesy of Xaverian High School
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Xaverian High School’s new boys’ varsity basketball coach won’t have to spend time familiarizing himself with the school. Tom Burns is a Xaverian graduate and has spent more than three decades there as a teacher, guidance counselor and dean.

Burns also directed the school’s summer basketball camp for many years.

Burns, who graduated from Xaverian High School in 1983, succeeds Jack Alesi, a legendary figure in Xaverian sports history who served as head basketball coach for 21 years. The appointment of Burns was announced last week by Xaverian President Robert Alesi.

Robert and Jack Alesi are brothers.

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“We are incredibly fortunate that what could have been a difficult decision was anything but. Tommy ‘s dedication and commitment to not only the athletes playing basketball but each and every student in the building are the most fundamental reasons that Xaverian’s program has always been so successful,” said Robert Alesi, calling it “a natural and seamless transition.”

Xaverian, a Catholic high school located at 7100 Shore Road in Bay Ridge, has enjoyed a rich sports tradition over the years. The school has won numerous city championships. In March, the boys’ varsity basketball team won the Catholic High School Athletic Association championship.

National Basketball Association Hall of Famer Chris Mullin, who is currently the head basketball coach at St. John’s University, is a Xaverian graduate. Mullin is currently a member of Xaverian’s board of trustees.

Burns is a member of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame, and over the years has served as a teacher, guidance counselor, dean, alumni coordinator and summer basketball camp director. The camp attracts more than 600 boys and girls each summer.

He has also led the freshman and junior varsity basketball teams, winning a city title in 1996, and has assisted Jack Alesi for 21 years.

“Working with our students has always been its own reward,” Burns said in a statement. “I was lucky enough to have great coaches like Lou Piccola and Jack Alesi when I was a student at Xaverian; men who taught me a lot more than just basketball.  I want our kids to have that same experience. To have the opportunity to continue that legacy is a tremendous honor for me.”

Burns is one of the founders of the Fastbreak Basketball Center in Staten Island. He played college basketball at Quinnipiac University.


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