|Kevin Burke has been the offensive coordinator for Gettysburg for the past 14 seasons.
Gettysburg athletics photo
It's a new beginning for the Gettysburg football team with the announcement of long-time assistant coach Kevin Burke as the new head coach of the Bullets. Burke follows in the footsteps of mentor Barry Streeter, who is retiring after 39 years at the helm.
After a national search which saw more than 100 applicants, Burke emerged from the crowd after presenting a solid plan and vision for the future of the Bullets football program. He becomes the 24th head coach in the 127-year history of the program.
"During the interview process Kevin Burke emerged as the top candidate for a number of reasons," said assistant vice president for athletics David Wright. "He described a tireless work ethic to develop young men who will play for the orange and blue. He illustrated a best-in-class recruiting plan that will ensure top-caliber student-athletes see Gettysburg College and our football program as a great place to matriculate and graduate from. Kevin depicted a strategy for success to position Gettysburg College football at the top of the Centennial Conference.
"Finally, Coach Burke represented passion for the task at hand at a very high level. It is one thing to talk about being passionate; it is another to demonstrate it."
Burke is in the midst of his 14th season at his alma mater, all as offensive coordinator of one of the most prolific scoring teams in the Centennial Conference. He plans on hitting the ground running and continuing the groundwork set down by Streeter while implementing his own designs to return Gettysburg back to the top of the conference and national prominence.
"I'd like to personally thank director of athletics David Wright, vice president for enrollment and educational services Barbara Fritze, president Janet Riggs and everyone involved in the search process for showing the confidence in me to lead our program into the future," Burke said. "I would also like to thank Coach Streeter for all he has meant to Gettysburg College and to me personally.
"I'm extraordinarily excited, but I'm also humbled," he continued. "Most of all, I'm struck with the enormous sense of responsibility to our student-athletes, alumni, and the campus community to provide the type of football program this institution deserves."
Since arriving in 2004, Burke has engineered a dynamic offensive scheme that has seen Gettysburg rewrite the program's record books. Nearly every offensive record has fallen during his tenure, including rushing yards in a game (574), passing yards in a game (519), and points in a game (70). The team has set a dozen season records as well, including rushing touchdowns (37), passing yards (2,742), and points scored (394).
Burke's innovative offense has annually ranked among the best in the conference. The Bullets have led the league in total offense five times and ranked fourth in the entire nation in 2009. The team has also paced the CC in rushing offense seven times and in passing offense twice.
While Burke is proud of his background as an offensive coordinator at Gettysburg, he is ready to build new paths to success as a head coach. Some things will remain the same, but there are many that will change in the coming days, contends the new coach.
"I have all the respect in the world for Coach Streeter, but I'm not going to be an imitation of him," said Burke. "It's important that we look at all aspects of our football program, take note of what we do really well and those things that need to be improved. We need to work diligently as a coaching staff, as an administration, as an alumni base, and as a campus community to make Gettysburg football the premiere program in the Centennial Conference."
Burke has been an avid supporter of Gettysburg and its athletic programs through the years. He is a constant fixture at campus and athletic events, often bringing his family along. His wife, Julia, is a 1993 graduate of Gettysburg. Burke's daughter Elizabeth is currently a freshman on the basketball team at Ursinus, while his son Colin, is a sophomore at Biglerville High School.
This will be Burke's second stint as a head coach. From 1998-03, he was the head coach at Juniata. During that time he helped the Eagles break program records in nearly offensive category. His best season came in 1999, when Juniata went 6-4 and finished second in the MAC Commonwealth – the best showing in school history.
Burke was a two-sport athlete at Gettysburg, competing in football and track and field. He received a degree in history in 1990 and went on to earn a master's at SUNY Stony Brook in 1992. He coached at Stony Brook and Hamilton before a stint as the offensive coordinator at Juniata. Burke went on to coach at Norwich University before returning to Juniata.
Since Burke took the over as offensive coordinator, Gettysburg has received 43 all-conference citations on the offensive side of the ball. Running back Tom Sturges was hailed as CC Offensive Player of the Year and quarterback Matt Flynn smashed nearly all the program's passing records, including career passing yards (7,921) and career passing touchdowns (56).
Burke has coached six wide receivers that have accumulated more than 1,000 career yards at Gettysburg, including all-time leader Aden Twer (2,225). Ten players have recorded over 1,000 career rushing yards, including the only four quarterbacks in program history.
Despite the success on the field, Burke is prepared to make the changes necessary to put Gettysburg back on top. The Bullets last won the conference title in 1985 and the program's last postseason appearance was the ECAC Southwest Bowl in 2007.
"For the players, I'm excited to have the opportunity to look at every aspect of our program and see where we can make improvements to take us to the top of the conference," said Burke. "It's going to be fun, it's going to be exciting, and everyone is going to enjoy the ride."