Mississinewa High School has its new varsity football coach, and it’s someone who has a little familiarity with the program and Grant County.

Kyle Buresh, a LaPorte, Indiana-native and 2011 graduate of Franklin College, was approved by the Mississinewa school board Monday night to succeed Curt Funk as the Indians next head coach.

Though his time in Grant County was brief, Buresh previously served as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator for Indiana Wesleyan’s inaugural season in 2018. Most recently he coached the wide receivers at Denison University (Granville, Ohio) last fall.

All of Buresh’s prior coaching experience has come at the collegiate level, but he’s looking forward to the challenge of directing the football program at Mississinewa.

“Being able to accept the position is a different opportunity for me that will be challenging,” Buresh said by phone Tuesday afternoon. “But also to be a part of a phenomenal football program that has had a lot of success, I’m really excited to build off that success and to help work to take things to the next level.

“I’m a little bit familiar with Grant County after living there for a year being at IWU, enjoyed the area and it’s a phenomenal opportunity for me and my family.”

Buresh was one of 15 applicants for the position, according to Mississinewa Athletic Director Chanse Young. After narrowing the list to six, then to two, Young said Buresh was able to distinguish himself as the candidate of choice to the hiring committee for different reasons.

“I think we felt like we had really good candidates and we felt like everybody we interviewed did a really good job,” Young said. “I think what pushed coach over the top of everybody else was his commitment to developing a whole person, not just football players.

“I think just that idea of building the whole person, his experience at the college level having coached various position on each side of the ball in successful programs were some things that helped him jump out to the committee,” Young added. “Overall what really set him apart for us was just his demeanor and again his philosophy of building that total person or total player both on and off the field.”

Buresh said he was using Tuesday as an opportunity to reach out to Mississinewa’s existing coaching staff just to get to know them better. One thing Buresh pointed out as a positive of the coronavirus pandemic is it is affording him the time to make calls and get to know who his potential assistant coaches might be.

The current situation is obviously less than ideal for a new head coach, but Buresh said he’ll also soon start reaching out to Ole Miss’ returning players, though there is no certainty when he’ll be able to finally meet them face to face.

“It is what it is. The bigger difficult situation right now is just people being healthy. You’ve got to keep it in perspective,” Buresh said. “I think the country is doing what is best for everyone involved. That’s bigger than football and bigger than anything right now.

“It’s a challenge but everybody is facing some sort of challenge with their job and the way that they’re living their life right now,” he continued. “It’s a challenge for me as the head football coach at Mississinewa but it’s obviously a challenge for everybody in their daily lives. You’ve just got to take it, make the best of it and run with it, do the best you can.”

Most of Buresh’s previous coaching experience has come on the offensive side of the football, but he interned as a linebacker coach at his alma mater and was a three-time Academic All-Conference defensive back in his playing days at Franklin.

When asked about his coaching philosophy, Buresh’s response incorporated being flexible.

“That’s still to be determined as far as schematically,” he said. “At the end of the day we have to put our players in the best situation to be successful. You can’t do that without knowing what they can do.

“I’ve got to be able to know the kids personally first, get to know them and let them know how much I care about them and how I want them to go about their business,” Buresh added. “Develop relationships first and foremost then see what they can do physically as well, then tailor what we’re going to do offensively, defensively to the strengths of our players.”

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