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37

www.lycoming.edu

WA R R I O R N EWS

S

eth Burch ’89 has been a fan of

the Warriors as far back as he can

remember. It didn’t hurt, of course, that

his father, Clarence “Dutch” Burch,

would become the most celebrated

basketball coach in Lycoming College

history, coaching the men’s team for 32

years, from 1962-94. Burch’s fandom hit

new heights when he became a member

of the team in 1985 and served as a

point guard under his father for four

years.

So, 20 years after his father last

patrolled the sidelines, what is Burch

doing on the court in Lamade

Gymnasium for nearly every home

game? Tune into a Lycoming

College men’s basketball game on

ESPNWilliamsport.com

(104.1 FM/1050

AM) and his voice rings through clearly.

His impact, and truly, his father’s,

go much deeper than that through the

Lycoming basketball program.

Ask seventh-year head coach Guy

Rancourt about the most important things he did when he first

took the job in 2010, and he’ll be quick to tell you that striking

up a friendship with Burch is at the top of his list.

“Seth is a big part of it,” Rancourt said. “Literally the first

day, during my press conference, he was there and I got to

speak with him. He has always extended himself, letting us

know that if we ever need anything, he is there for us.”

That support is almost always in constant

display. Most visibly, Burch’s Nationwide Smith

Burch Agency began to

sponsor the annual Tip-

Off Tournament in 2013,

renaming the tournament

in honor of his father, who

passed away in 2012. Less

visibly, Burch, along with

his wife, Debi, have held

several team dinners and he

has even picked up recruits

and showed them around

Williamsport. His love for the basketball program, after all, is

about as ingrained as it can be. His father, Dutch, had one of

the best seasons of his career, a 16-4 campaign, in 1966, the year

that Burch was born.

“My whole life, I have been a part of this program,” Burch

said. “Guy knows that if he needs something, he can call and I

appreciate that 100 percent.”

For Rancourt, who has led the Warriors to one NCAA

Tournament berth and three conference championship games

during his first six years at Lycoming, that support has been

incredibly important.

“I am humbled by how much Seth thinks of me,” Rancourt

said. “His father accomplished so much and his name is right

up there at the top of the program.”

Throughout his tenure at the college, which is now the

third-longest in the program’s history, Rancourt has produced

teams that love to score and play defense with intensity. This

year’s team, infused with six freshmen in the playing rotation,

was once again a high-energy group, just the way he likes it. So,

when the team handed him his 100th win at the college with a

79-70 win over Messiah College on Dec. 3, joining Dutch Burch

as the only other coach in program history to reach that num-

ber, maybe it wasn’t that much of a surprise, even if Rancourt

wasn’t sure how quickly this team, which went on to finish first

in the Commonwealth Conference, would mold together.

“I can’t think about the bigger picture,” Rancourt said. “It

is so much fun to coach this team this year. With so much

inexperience, it can be frustrating at times, but putting into

perspective how good we can be by the end of this year and in

the future, it has to make you smile.”

In fact, when asked about whether he is looking forward to

his next 100 wins, Rancourt said he is just trying to get the next

one. Burch said that reminds him of his father.

“He does resemble my dad,” Burch said. “Some of the things

he says like that are just like my dad. He doesn’t care about

how many wins he has – he wants to make the playoffs, win the

conference title and he wants his kids to graduate.”

Burch, on the other hand, can take a bit of a broader view of

the accomplishments of Rancourt through his first seven years

at the school and make some bolder statements.

“I told Guy that I think he is going to be here longer than

my dad,” Burch said. “The guys that he has recruited are

just phenomenal. I hope he is here for 30 years. That

would be awesome.”

Connecting

basketball’s

past and present

Seth Burch ’89

continues father’s

legacy

By Joe Guistina

My whole life,

I have been

a part of this

program.