The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) has named Newburgh Free Academy head track and field coach, Malcolm Burks, New York State Boys coach of the year. The organization, which has named state-by-state winners for the last four years, made the announcement on August 9.
Burks, a Newburgh native and 1979 graduate of NFA, has been the head coach since 2008, and coaching the sprint, jumps, throws as the assistant coach from 1999. This year, the team’s 4X400M relay won the state and NYSPHAA federation titles with the fourth-best state performance of all-time (3:12.69). They also finished third at the New Balance Outdoor National Championship in June and senior Robert Walker, who will be a freshman at St. Augustine College in the fall, was state champion in the 400M hurdles.
Over the years, Burks has coached relay teams and individuals to nine national titles and numerous state titles. Olympian Samyr Layne (triple jump – 2012 & 2016) and national indoor record holder Elzie Coleman (400M – 2004) both started their track careers at NFA and were coached through high school by Burks.
Under his leadership, Newburgh claims three of the six fastest times ever run in the 4X400M in state history. For at least the tenth year in a row, most of the team’s graduating seniors are going on to four-year colleges to compete in the NCAA.
“It’s good to know that your work is being acknowledged and recognized, but I don’t see myself as more deserving than any other coach.” Burks said. “To me, the selection is a testament to the hard work and dedication that the athletes, their parents and I have put into the Newburgh program.”
As a state Coach of the Year winner, Burks will now be considered for the USTFCCCA’s National High School Track & Field Coach of the Year Award, which will be announced later this month.