Beloved coach and Burbank High School campus supervisor Pete Roses died on Tuesday at 56.
The unexpected death of Roses, who coached basketball and football at Burbank and John Burroughs high schools, came as a shock to the local sports community, especially BHS head football coach Adam Colman.
“I remember my first day after graduating middle school, basketball tryouts were at the Burbank High School gym,” he said. “There was Pete Roses. I knew who he was right away. I played for him in basketball, and he started coaching football my junior year.”
Roses soon made an impact in Colman’s life, a big reason why the onetime Bulldog player asked his former coach to join his staff at Burbank High when he took over the football program in 2017. Roses was the junior varsity football coach, a varsity football assistant and an assistant coach for the BHS basketball teams.
“He was always there, always very supportive,” Colman said, recalling his days as a student-athlete. “I remember him taking me aside many times and having conversations with me about life and being a better person. It was rarely about basketball. He was a father figure.”
BHS Principal Thomas Crowther saw that characteristic in Roses as well. When a student interviewed him about a serious topic, she said she was also going to talk to the school psychologist and then Roses.
“It was out of context, and so I must have looked puzzled,” Crowther wrote in an email. “The girl clarified, ‘Coach Pete, our campus supervisor. Kids tell him everything.’
“She was right, and I think that probably best explains why Pete was so important to BHS. You don’t replace people like that. You only hope you tell stories as well as he did to honor his memory. You also try to treat people like he did to maybe make the world a little bit of a better place.”
Burbank High athletic director Patrick McMenamin echoed Crowther, adding that Roses had “a passion for kids, and he chose coaching as his avenue to reach them.”
“He had a way of engaging and inspiring,” he added. “Our athletes knew, with no uncertainty, that coach Roses had their very best interests at heart. They could rely on him to be in their corner. He has played a big role in our Burbank community for many years, and his loss will leave an irreplaceable void in our gyms and on our fields.”
The Burbank community has rallied to help Roses’ family by donating through mealtrain.com/trains/1omll3/donate.
Crowther also set up a memorial wall for Roses. Community members can post on the wall by visiting padlet.com/gsharaga3/mrzhqsu7xcd494id.