“He exemplifies what it means to be a fighter” 

Volleyball associate head coach Burdette Greeny continues to coach through cancer diagnosis 

WSU+volleyball+associate+head+coach+Burdette+Greeny+celebrates+after+sweeping+Utah%2C+Nov.+18.

COLE QUINN

WSU volleyball associate head coach Burdette Greeny celebrates after sweeping Utah, Nov. 18.

BRANDON WILLMAN, Evergreen reporter

Burdette Greeny, WSU volleyball associate head coach announced earlier this season that he was diagnosed with cancer. Even through his diagnosis and the treatment inherent with it, he has been with the team in every practice and match since.

Burdette works as the lead recruiting director and as an associate head coach for the team, but most importantly, he is leading by example on what it means to be a fighter.

Coaching is not the first time he has been at WSU, as he was a member of the baseball team for one season in 1997 before being drafted to the MLB.

“When I committed to play baseball 27 years ago for Washington State, one of the things I fell in love with was the fighting spirit that exemplified being a Coug,” he said in a video on WSU volleyball’s twitter. “I will fight this, I will never give in. It’s what Cougs do. It’s what I will do.”

That fighting spirit is seen by the players and it motivated them to finish the season strong for Burdette. He is also grateful for the ability to continue to coach, regardless of his health condition.

“I’m thankful that we have this team; I’m thankful that we are in season and a distraction going on. I choose to live and throw myself into this,” Burdette said.

When Burdette announced through the volleyball Twitter account about his diagnosis, several players posted about their support of their coach.

In the weeks since several players have continued to show their support for their coach and explained how having their coach there for them has been nothing but beneficial to team chemistry and motivation to end the season strong.

“Obviously, seeing him during practice, it’s nice to see him continuing to show up and be there. It shows how much he really cares and loves this program. He teaches us how to be fighters,” Argentina Ung said.

Nearly every player shared the sentiment that Burdette is a fighter.

“He shows up every day fighting. He exemplifies what it means to be a fighter and show up daily,” Karly Basham said.

His hard work has rubbed off on his team, who made a seventh consecutive NCAA tournament, playing for him.

“It is super cool to watch him continue to work. He does his best to bring himself up every day. He is inspiring and we all really love him,” Katy Ryan said.

His players’ comments and actions have not gone unnoticed by the coach, as he has expressed extreme gratitude for the support and love they have shown throughout the season.

“They have been unbelievable. When you have a bunch of young women that have the heart to take of you,” Burdette said. “It just is hard to explain how great it is.”

The sentiment he shared earlier this season still follows the team into the postseason. That sentiment was that the team as a whole has faced challenges and have fought back with resilience, the same thing that Burdette is implementing in his own personal battle.