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Girls Basketball Coach Jonna Burke Earns 500th Career Win

Shady Side Academy girls’ basketball Head Coach Jonna Burke earned her 500th career coaching win on Tuesday, Jan. 3, as the Bulldogs defeated Apollo-Ridge, 66-34, in the teams' Section 3 (3A) opener at SSA’s Mellon Gymnasium.

At the end of the game, Burke was immediately celebrated with flowers, balloons, a commemorative game ball, a poster signed by the team, and a framed certificate marking her 500th career win. When she finally made it to the locker room, her players showered her in Silly String in celebration.

Burke is in her 28th season of coaching overall and her second season at Shady Side. She coached at Butler from 1995-2003, going 123-89 in eight seasons, then spent 18 years at her alma mater, Bethel Park (2003-2021), where she went 360-107 and won a WPIAL title in 2013. She took the helm of the SSA program in 2021-2022 and led the Bulldogs to a 9-12 record and a WPIAL playoff berth in her first season, just a year after the team had won just one game. This season, Burke has SSA off to a hot 8-1 start, bringing her career record to 500-209 overall.

"I've been fortunate to have really good kids over the years that have played for me, so it's really a tribute to all of those girls that have been playing for me for 28 years," said Burke in a post-game interview with WSSA Sports.

Several members of the Bethel Park and Butler girls' basketball programs made the drive out to Fox Chapel see the game and celebrate the achievement with their former coach.

Jonna (Huemrich) Burke played at the University of Pittsburgh from 1990-1994 and still ranks among the Panthers’ top 10 career leaders in points (1,807, No. 7) rebounds (954, No. 7) and steals (224, No. 4). She was the Big East Rookie of the Year in 1991, a first-team all-conference selection in 1993 and 1994, and an honorable mention WBCA All-American in 1994. She is a member of the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the WPIAL Hall of Fame, the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Hall of Fame, the Bethel Park Athletic Hall of Fame, and the ACC Women’s Basketball Legends Class of 2016.

Burke is also a physical education teacher at Shady Side Academy Junior School.

Congratulations, Coach Burke!


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