CAMBRIDGE, MA -- After rejoining his former team midseason in time to lead the Lynx to an New England Collegiate Conference first place finish, Jim Burfoot stepped down as Lesley women's basketball coach.
"On top of being our all-time winningest head coach, Jim Burfoot set the foundation that started our program 10 years ago," said Lesley director of athletics Stanley Vieira. "I would like to thank coach Burfoot for helping us salvage our 2011 women's basketball season and leading us to the NECC championship game. He is one of the better college coaches with whom I have ever been associated."
The Lynx went 14-5 under Burfoot last season in the coach's second stint with the Lynx and ninth year overall, going on winning streaks of nine and five games in Burfoot's return to the sidelines. At 16-11 overall and 13-3 in the NECC, Lesley finished in first place, falling to Daniel Webster in the league championship, 64-52.
Assistant coach Julianna Eagles will return in the same capacity.
Burfoot, full-time AAU coach, cited the temporal commitments that come with the college game as a reason behind his resignation and remained thankful to his players and Lesley administration.
"To do the job right, college coaching is a year-round commitment. Lesley University, along with its players, parents and fans, deserves a coach who can dedicate 100 percent of his or her time to building a successful program," Burfoot said.
"Owning an AAU program needs a lot of attention to be successful," he added. "It takes up all of my time."
"It was a difficult decision and I'm truly going to miss the coaching staff and the players," he said. "I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend this portion of my coaching career working for athletics director Stanley Vieira. His work ethic and commitment to the school and his student-athletes are second to none."
Burfoot is the winningest coach in the program's young history with 69 victories. In a season that saw him take over a 2-6 team and lead it to the conference championship game, Burfoot coached NECC scoring leader Kaitlyn Wechsler (17.9 points per game), the league's most accurate three-point shooter in Rachael O'Mara (40 percent) and blocked shots leader Brianne Caira (3.6 blocks per game). With 1,471 points Wechsler graduated as Lesley's all-time leading scorer.
Added Vieira, "Our team's success today and the last four years was built on the hard work and efforts put forth by coach Burfoot when he arrived at Lesley in 1999."