Coach Burke named to All-Time Fab 5 Team


Evan Manion

Coach Burke draws up a plan for the Lady Hawks during their game against Canon-Mac on Jan. 9.

Tommy DiRienzo, Staff Writer

BPHS girls basketball coach Jonna Burke was recently named to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette all-time top 20 girls team. In other words, she was one of the top 20 basketball players in WPIAL girls basketball history to ever come out of the historic league.

She is currently the head coach of the girls team and just wrapped up her 18th season with the Lady Hawks and 26th season overall as a head coach. Her teams have qualified for the WPIAL playoffs in 24 of those 26 years and have won six section championships, with this year being the most recent. In 2013, she coached the Lady Hawks to their first-ever WPIAL championship.

Senior Maddie Dziezgowski said: “I’m so glad I had the opportunity to play for Coach Burke! She has taught me so much and helped me grow these past four years. I’ve really enjoyed learning from someone who knows the game of basketball so well!”

Before her playing days as a Pitt Panther, Coach Burke had a marvelous career for the Black Hawks where she was a two-time Post-Gazette Fab 5 selection and averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds as a senior and 20 points and 10 rebounds as a junior. She is Bethel Park’s all-time leading scorer where she scored 1,625 career points and even scored 42 points in a game.

After her career as a Black Hawk, she took her talents to the University of Pittsburgh where she finished with 1,807 points, 954 rebounds, and 224 steals. She was named the 1991 Big East Rookie of the Year, first-team all-conference twice, and was an All-American as a senior. She was tabbed as an Atlantic Coast Conference Legend in 2016. Upon graduation from Pitt, she left as the Top 10 in school history in scoring, rebounding, steals, and assists.

She began her coaching career at Butler for eight seasons before coming back to Bethel Park and has been at the helm for the last 18 seasons.

Dziezgowski added, “I’m so grateful to have been able to play for Coach Burke these past four years.”

Senior Lauren Mullen said: “She is a good coach and knows so much about basketball it’s crazy. We wouldn’t have been able to do what we did this season without her. She let us have fun when we needed it and she was stern when we got kind of crazy. I’m thankful to have been coached by a coach like her.”

She is a member of the Bethel Park Hall of Fame, Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, and the WPIAL Hall of Fame.

Congrats to Coach Burke on this amazing honor!