Longtime coach and administrator takes over the reins from a retiring Tim Burke

PMG FILE PHOTO - Mark Brown has shepherded the boys basketball team at NHS as head coach for many years.

A longtime coach and administrator will be Newberg High School's next athletic director.

"After an extensive hiring process, which included community and coach surveys, interviews, panel presentations and finalist interviews with interim superintendent Dr. Dave Novotney, Mark Brown has been chosen to lead the future of Newberg's co-curricular programs as the new athletic director/assistant principal …," a release from the district said. "Mark's deep community connections, vision for elevating athletics and activities and strong desire to continue serving the Newberg community made it evident to all members of the hiring committee that Mark was the right person for the job."

In addition to being the Tigers boys basketball coach since 2014, Brown has served as the school's assistant principal for the past four years, as well as assuming the roles of activities director and health teacher.

"He has garnered respect throughout the community for his ability to forge strong relationships with staff, students and parents," the release said. Brown

Brown will replace longtime athletic director Tim Burke, who is retiring after 24 years in the position.

"Mark is a man of integrity and the epitome of a servant leader, and I have no doubt that his collaborative nature will serve him well in this role," NHS Principal Tami Erion said in the release. "He is well known and respected in the community and revered by students and adults alike. I admire Mark for his ability to establish high expectations for students while maintaining positive and supportive relationships with them. I know Mark is deeply committed to improving the student experience in athletics and activities for all students K-12."

Brown — who lives in Newberg with wife Sarah, a math teacher at Chehalem Valley Middle School, and daughters Addy and Rose — welcomed the opportunity.

"I am excited and humbled to have the opportunity to serve Newberg High School in the role of athletic director," he said. "I am proud to call Newberg my home, and I look forward to working alongside our coaches, staff, students and community in continuing to pursue excellence within our athletic and activity programs."

Burke on job for decades

Burke actually retired at the end of January, he said in an email, but agreed to remain in the position to "provide the district time to find someone during the year and so that I could help with the transition."

Burke was first hired in 1987 as a math teacher after a two-year stint teaching at a Catholic school in The Bronx, New York. He coached football and basketball for 11 years, then transitioned into the role of athletic director in 1998 and served the next 24 years in the position. He continued to coach football until 2010.

Burke said he is confident Brown will be a good fit as his successor.

"Mark will do a fantastic job," Burke said. "He has an incredible amount of experience in both athletics and administration and is entrenched in the Newberg community. Mark's work ethic, strong belief in education-based athletics and people skills will help him serve the coaches, student-athletes and families in this community."

Burke's plans for retirement are fairly straightforward.

"My plans right now are to take a two-month nap this summer, then begin to create some travel plans with my wife," he quipped. "I hope to learn more about woodworking. I plan to stay in the area, near my two daughters and my parents."

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