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High school basketball: Jay Burney stepping down as boys coach at Flowery Branch
Jay Burney
Flowery Branch High boys basketball coach Jay Burney instructs practice Dec. 1 in Flowery Branch. Photo by Robert Alfonso Jr.

Jay Burney has tendered his resignation as the Falcons’ head coach, as the school announced in an emailed statement and he confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

The combination of the daily grind of coaching, combined with the fact that his son, Jack, has finished his playing career at Flowery Branch and will graduate this spring, convinced him that the time was right to take a break.

“I’ve been a (high school head) coach for 26 or 27 years, and it gets tiresome at times,” Burney said. “You have to put a lot of energy into it. … I just want to step back and figure out what I’m going to do with my life.”

For more than 25 years, Jay Burney hasn’t wanted to be anything else but a basketball coach.

However, after the spending the last four of those years at Flowery Branch High, he is ready to step away from the game, at least for a while.

After inheriting a team that won just one game and battling through a winless team in his first season, Burney helped build the Flowery Branch program and climb its way back up to being competitive.

That process culminated with this season’s 15-10 mark, the Falcons’ best season in five years, and adds to a successful high school career that included stops in Alabama at Boaz and Lee-Huntsville.

“We went from not very good my first year to (15-10) this year,” Burney said. “It’s been a great thing, and I love Flowery Branch. I’ve loved the people I’ve worked with. I just thought it was a situation where I’ve got to step back for a year and see what I want to do and try to (regain) a new love for coaching, to be honest.”

Flowery Branch athletics director Jimmy Lawler acknowledged Burney’s work and thanked him for it in a statement released Wednesday, and also said that the search for a new coach will begin immediately.

“Jay Burney is a fine man and outstanding basketball coach,” Lawler said.  “We appreciate what he has done for our program the last four years.”

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