In April of this year, Sheila Burleigh announced her retirement after 42 seasons of coaching at South Burlington High School (SBHS). The community is invited to celebrate Burleigh’s indelible contribution December 22 at the girls’ basketball home opener. Reception begins at 5:30 p.m. in cafeteria 1 at the high school, followed by a ceremony at 7 p.m. in the gymnasium. Varsity game to follow at 7:30 p.m. No need to RSVP, all are welcome.

Burleigh, who graduated from Lyndon State College, began her career as an SBHS student teacher in 1972. The long-time girls’ varsity basketball coach was then hired as a physical education teacher. Burleigh spent time as the varsity softball head coach and started the SBHS field hockey program. She coached field hockey from 1973 to 1988, compiling a career record with two state championships in 1984 and 1985. Burleigh was named Vermont Coach of the Year in field hockey five times.

But it was in basketball where Coach Burleigh really left her mark. Her career record stands at 597-315, with five state championships, 10 Metro Division titles, and 20 appearances in the Final Four. She coached the Vermont Twin State team twice, winning the game vs. New Hampshire each time. Capping her list of accolades, Burleigh was named the 2010 Russell Athletic Women’s’ Basketball Coaches’ Association National High School Coach of the Year for District One.

Coach Burleigh has been inducted into five Halls of Fame including Lyndon State College Hall of Fame, 1999; New Agenda Women’s Hall of Fame, 2003; VPA Hall of Fame, 2005; New England Basketball Hall of Fame, 2006; and Vermont Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, 2008.

These achievements and more will be celebrated December 22. As Burleigh remarked about her retirement earlier this year, “This has been a sweet ride, a life full of wonderful people and wonderful memories.” Join with the community to honor those memories and people like Sheila Burleigh who make a difference

The community is also invited to attend the girls’ alumni basketball game December 23 at SBHS, 10 to 11:30 a.m.

For those who cannot make the Burleigh’s celebration and would like to share their thoughts with the coach, send your remarks and congratulations by email to

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