Longtime Burbank, Burroughs Coach Dies

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Pete Roses following a Burbank-Burroughs football game. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Longtime local football and basketball coach Pete Roses died unexpectedly Tuesday.

He was 56.

Roses has spent many years working as a junior varsity football and basketball coach at both Burbank and Burroughs highs.  He also worked in campus security in Burbank Unified, most recently at Burbank High.

Roses had been Burbank’s junior varsity football coach the past two years.  He previously worked at Burroughs. Roses also coached lower level basketball at Burbank as well as at Pasadena High.

Most recently he was also a varsity assistant with the Burbank High girls’ basketball team.

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“Pete Roses inspired so many young men and women in Burbank over the years. Everyone who had the opportunity to play for him has their own Coach Roses story. He empowered us, he cared about us, and he loved us all,” Burbank varsity football coach Adam Colman said.  “He was in the gym the first day I stepped foot on campus and he was the first person I hired when I became head coach. Like he did for so many others, he helped guide me and made me a better player, better coach, and better man.”

Colman said he last spoke with Roses earlier this month during the BCS National Championship game of college football as Roses was a big Alabama fan and the Burbank High coaches were messaging each other back and forth about the game.

Pete Roses coaching basketball at Burbank with then-student Adam Colman, who is now the school’s varsity football coach. Photo courtesy Adam Colman.

Burbank Athletic Director Patrick McMenamin also remembered Roses for his contribution to the school.

“Pete Roses had a passion for kids, and he chose coaching as his avenue to reach them.  He had a way of engaging and inspiring.  Our athletes knew, with no uncertainty, that Coach Roses had their very best interests at heart,’’ he said. “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.  I will truly miss hearing his voice on our sidelines.”

Burbank High Principal Tom Crowther shared one Roses’ most important qualities.

“He had a rare gift for making everyone feel special, which is why he was,” Crowther said.

Roses also left a mark at Burroughs and some past players have paid their respects to him.

Pete Roses, with black shirt, coached football and basketball at Burbank High and was also a school security guard. Photo courtesy Adam Colman.

“Coach Roses was one of a kind, always pushing me to work hard and prove all the doubters wrong in all aspects of life. You don’t get people like coach Roses out the ordinary, he was the definition of built different,” said Burroughs alum Andrew English, who is now a wide receiver at Whittier College. “Rest easy coach, thank you for the endless memories.”

He led Burbank’s junior varsity boys basketball team to a 25-3 mark in 2010-2011, going  14-0 in Pacific League play. The team went 23-3 in 2011-12.

Roses coached Burbank’s junior varsity football as well. In 2011 and 2012 the team posted back-to-back 9-1 seasons, going undefeated in Pacific League in both of those seasons.

He was Burbank’s head junior varsity coach again in 2019, going 3-6.

Roses was the junior varsity football coach at Burroughs in 2016 and 2017.  He  also coached the Burroughs junior varsity boys basketball for the 2015-2016 season, going 20-7.

A memorial wall has been set up to remember Roses on padlet.com.

Those that would like to lend a hand to Roses’ family can also do so through mealtrain.com. https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/1omll3/donate