Fans in any gym or stadium that a Liberty sports program happened to be competing at over the past few yearswere almost guaranteed to hear two things.
The first would come prior to the start of a game or during a timeout and couldn’t be missed: a booming “Let’s go Redhawks” chant, which was later followed up by an impressively long whistle all from one man.
The person behind the well-known chant and more is Liberty head football coach and athletic director Chris Burtch, who may not be pumping up the Redhawks faithful at any sporting events in the future.
That’s because last week, Burtch accepted an assistant athletic director position within Frisco ISD – a new position that was made available this spring.
“I’d be a fool and a liar to say that Liberty is not going to hold a special place in my heart, but you probably won’t hear me yell, ‘Let’s go Redhawks’ anymore,” he said. “The good news is when we’re playing against somebody from outside of Frisco, I can be very biased.”
However, nothing is official until after next week when matters will be voted on at the next board meeting, which will be held Monday. Until then, Burtch holds his position at Liberty and is unsure of a future start date with Frisco ISD and also has not heard word on his replacement.
Upon accepting the position, Burtch informed his coaching staff first of his departure and then let his players know soon after, something he claimed is never an easy thing to do.
But after 24 years as a head coach, including five at Liberty, he is fully prepared to take on a new challenge.
“There is always change coming and always growth to occur either personally or professionally, and just the opportunity to continue to grow is really the deal here,” he said. “It was just time to turn the next page and see where else I can serve our kids and community.”
During his five seasons at Liberty, Burtch compiled an overall record of 12-40, and although the Redhawks never reached the postseason during that span, he said what has made his time in Frisco so special are the bonds he has built along the way.
He also had three of his children graduate from Liberty, with the most recent one being the District 5-5A Division I two-way player of the year in tight end and defensive lineman Josh Burtch.
“Frisco ISD is pretty special, and Liberty is a great place,” he said. “The success didn’t necessarily come here with wins and losses, but I had a lot of great relationships with coaches, parents and kids that I am very grateful for.”