TROY, Ohio (WDTN) – High school football has always been a family affair for the Burgbachers. This year, three generations of the family will kick off the season together at Troy High School.
While running drills in the summer preseason, head coach Matt Burgbacher said he felt predestined to coach the sport.
He explained simply, “Football has been a huge part of my life.”
Burgbacher’s seventh grade son Braden, who is playing his first season with the Troy program, can already relate to the sentiment.
“I’ve grown up with it,” Braden Burgbacher said.
Both Burgbachers can credit family patriarch Charlie Burgbacher for that.
Now the assistant coach under his son at Troy High School, the elder Burgbacher transitioned to the support role after a storied career in Tipp City.
Charlie Burgbacher head coached at Tippecanoe High School for close to 3 decades, which included several seasons with his sons on the team.
“When we were on the field, it was team first. When we were at home, it was home first,” Charlie Burgbacher said.
Matt Burgbacher joined his father as assistant coach for Tippecanoe for several seasons before accepting the head coaching position at Troy.
“I was able to realize what it really took to be successful and the time that it took,” Matt Burgbacher said of the lessons he learned from his father, though the two agree their coaching styles differ.
Charlie Burgbacher said, “I’m kind of rough around the edges: demanding.”
He praised Matt’s communication with the team.
“The interaction that he has with the players… that’s something I think is really important, something he’s developed and that he’s pretty darn good at,” Charlie Burgbacher said.
Both coaches admit there was an adjustment period with roles reversed in 2015, when Charlie retired as head coach at Tippecanoe and took the assistant position under Matt at Troy.
“That was a big learning curve,” Matt laughed, adding they still have a lot in common.
He said, “My mom sits up there in the stands and she sometimes has a hard time figuring out (if) it’s me or dad.”
Though history is repeating itself with a Burgbacher playing for his father, Matt said there’s no expectation for Braden to join the ‘family business.’
“If he wants to be a football coach, I’ll be there to help him,” Matt said. “If he doesn’t, if he wants to be an accountant, I’ll be there to help him as an accountant.”
The team’s first regular season game is Friday, August 24 at home against Belmont.