Buffalo announces next women’s basketball coach

UB media release:

BUFFALO, NY Becky Burke has been named the 13thth head coach of women’s basketball in school history, University at Buffalo Vice President and Director of Athletics Mark Alnutt announced Wednesday. Burke comes to Buffalo from USC Upstate where she was named Big South Coach 2022 of the Year.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Becky Burke to our UB family,” Alnutt said. Through this search process, she quickly distinguished herself from the other candidates by showing an infectious passion for the sport, a strong work ethic and a competitive character, while creating genuine relationships with her student-athletes while preparing them for success both on and off for the course. She formulated a vision for this program that will build on the success we have had and continue to make our brand nationally recognized as a leading basketball program. Becky is a rising star in our industry and a proven winner, which is very evident at all her previous stops. University at Buffalo Women’s Basketball is in very good hands in the years to come. “

“I would like to thank Mark Alnutt“President Tripathi and the rest of the search committee to have confidence in me as the next head coach here at the University of Buffalo,” Burke said. “From the start of this process, Mark and my vision for the women’s basketball program at UB have fit together perfectly. This program has been built under the leadership of Coach Legette-Jack into a dominant program in MAC with national respect. I am fully committed to keeping it that way and becoming the premiere destination for some of the best players in the country. We will be proud to continue to raise the bar on the field, but also to be good representatives of this university and the city of Buffalo. Again, I am humbled and so grateful for this opportunity and can not wait to get on campus. ”

Burke spent two successful seasons as head coach of USC Upstate. She took over the program in 2020 and immediately led the Spartans to five wins in the Big South Conference, their biggest in four seasons. In just his second year, Burke developed one of the best turnarounds in the country and led an Upstate team selected 10th in the preseason for No. 3 overall seed and a farewell in the first round of the 2022 Big South Championship. Her club tied the programme’s Division I era record for overall victories (22) and conference victories (14), while holding the D1 era’s longest winning streak (seven games) as the team achieved an improvement of 14 victories from the previous season. Under her guidance, first-year student Rachael Rose received the Big South Freshman of the Year honor, and Chellia Watson joined Rose as an All-Conference honoree, receiving first-team All-Big South awards. The Spartans finished the season in sixth place in the nation in field goal percentage.

Prior to taking over the reins at Upstate, Burke had an impressive two-year stint at NCAA DII level as head coach at the University of Charleston in West Virginia. She brought the Golden Eagles back to national prominence in just her first season at the helm of the program in 2018-19, leading the team to a record of 25-7, which was an improvement of 12 wins from the year before. The Golden Eagles beat the national top-25 that season, making their first NCAA tournament since 2014, while leading the country in field goal percentage and Mountain East Conference in defensive scoring. Burke coached a few first-team picks at all conferences, which included a DII All-American.

In its second year, the Golden Eagles entered the 2019-20 season as the conference’s preseason No. 2 team and went on to a record of 23-7, while again leading the conference in defensive scoring behind a few more picks from all conferences and This year’s MEC Freshman.

Prior to his time in Charleston, Burke started the women’s basketball program at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ. in 2015 and continued to be the head coach of the Eagles for two seasons. She led the team to a winning record in its inaugural campaign in 2016-17. In his second season at ERAU, the Eagles ranked nationally in the NAIA top-25, compiling a record of 21-6, including 11-3 in the California Pacific Conference. Burke recruited and coached three all-conference performers for two seasons at ERAU.

Burke was placed on the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association 30-Under-30 list in 2019. She was the only head coach to appear on the exclusive list.

Prior to her head coaching career, Burke served as an assistant coach at Saint Joseph’s College in the 2014-15 season, where she was a recruiting coordinator and strength and conditioning coach, while also being responsible for player development, scouting and planning. Prior to that, she was director of basketball operations at California State Fullerton in 2013-14.

Burke had a unique playing career at the University of Louisville, where she graduated with a degree in sports management in 2012. In four years as a cardinal, she helped lead her team to three NCAA tournaments, including the 2009 championship game and the Sweet Sixteen in 2011. She led the cards with scoring her second year and in 3-point field goal percentage in her junior year. She tied a then school record for 3-pointers in a game (8) last year and ranks as number five through all time in 3-points (249). Burke is a member of the 1,000-point club and was just the second cardinal to attend the State Farm College 3-Point Shoot-Out in 2012, where he finished second.

Burke, who is a resident of Clarks Summit, PA, starred in his hometown high school, Abington Heights. She was named Pennsylvania Class 4A Player of the Year her final year by the Associated Press and scored over 2,100 points in her four-year high school career.

“I’m very excited to welcome Coach Burke to UB,” said UB President Satish Tripathi. “Her vision of excellence for student athletes on and off the court and our women’s basketball program make her an ideal fit for our university. I look forward to seeing Coach Burke take our excellent women’s basketball program to even more heights of success. “

An introductory press conference will be held on Friday, April 8 at 12 in the Alumni Arena.

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