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Golf: Argyle coach placed on administrative leave, later resigns

Mark Burgen, the former title-winning coach at Andrews who was hired in June to head the boys and girls golf teams at Argyle, resigned Tuesday after being placed on administrative leave.

In a letter obtained by the Denton Record-Chronicle that was sent Tuesday to parents of students at Argyle Intermediate School — Burgen was a fourth- and fifth-grade PE teacher there — Argyle Superintendent Telena Wright wrote that it was a personnel issue that did not involve intermediate school students in any way. The matter instead involved Burgen's high school coaching assignment.

Wright wouldn't comment further on why Burgen was put on leave when reached by phone Tuesday afternoon but later confirmed that he resigned. Burgen did not immediately return a phone call from the Record-Chronicle.

Wright did confirm that she sent a second and very similar letter to parents of the high school golf team members. Brady Bell, the former boys golf coach at Argyle and current assistant principal at the intermediate school, has agreed to assume the coaching role for the time being, Wright said.

Burgen grew up in Andrews, a town in West Texas, and played on its 1987 state championship golf team. He went on to coach the sport in his hometown for 23 years. The Lady Mustangs won nine state titles in his 14 years as head coach, including seven straight from 2011 through 2017.

His career at Andrews was cut short this year when he committed a Class C misdemeanor by using a wireless communication device in a school crossing zone or while operating a school bus with a minor passenger. 

After initially suspending him in the middle of Andrews' run to its seventh straight state title in May, the school board made the decision to reassign Burgen on June 6, officially removing him from the coaching staff. He was hired by Argyle later that month.

Argyle officials were aware of Burgen's misdemeanor when he was hired. At the time, Wright did not have any comment on the issues between Burgen and the Andrews school district. 

STEVE GAMEL can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @NewspaperSteve.