February 11, 2016  

Purdue Athletics Director Morgan Burke announces plans to retire in July 2017

Morgan Burke

Morgan Brurke 
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NAPLES, Fla. - Purdue Athletics Director Morgan Burke announced Thursday (Feb. 11) his intent to retire in July 2017. Burke, who made his plans known to university leaders more than a year ago, informed alumni Thursday at an annual event in Florida.

Chairman of the Purdue Board of Trustees and former Purdue football player Michael Berghoff will lead a national search to find a new director.

“This is a complex and important position, but our work as a committee is made easier by having a brand that is so favorably viewed and inspires such loyalty among fans and alumni,” Berghoff said. “Morgan had a lot to do with that.”

The search committee, appointed by Purdue President Mitch Daniels, includes: Christie Sahley, associate dean in the College of Science and a longtime Faculty Athletic Representative; Stephanie White, 1999 Purdue graduate and current head coach of the Indiana Fever; Rod Woodson, former Boilermaker, College and Pro Football Hall of Famer, and the Oakland Raiders’ assistant defensive backs coach; Purdue standout and NFL veteran Matt Light; Christa Szalach, a junior on Purdue’s soccer team; and Nancy Cross, senior associate athletics director.

Daniels described Burke as a trusted steward of Purdue’s Athletics.

“For longer than any athletic director in Purdue history Morgan has contributed to Purdue’s reputation as a highly competitive program marked by integrity and fiscal soundness,” Daniels said. “Over the last 23 years he has worked to create an environment that fosters both academic and athletic success among our student-athletes. For the first of many times to come, we thank him for his years of service to the university and look forward to working with him over the next year and a half to facilitate a successful transition.”

Burke said, “Few people are afforded the opportunity to serve their alma mater in a capacity such as I have for more than two decades, and I look forward to continue doing so as we help our student-athletes in their quest to win championships – in the classroom, in competition and in life.”

Burke has led Purdue Athletics since 1993, marking one of the longest tenures in Division I athletics. A 1973 industrial management graduate and captain of the swimming team his senior year, Burke was an avid fan and member of the John Purdue Club long before he was appointed to lead the department. He earned a master's degree in industrial relations in 1975 from Purdue and, in 1980, he graduated with a law degree from John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

Under his leadership at Purdue, two teams have won NCAA championships - women's basketball in 1999 and women's golf in 2010 - while eight student-athletes have captured a combined 14 individual national crowns. The football team embarked on a run of 10 bowl games in 12 years from 1997-2008, and the men’s basketball team achieved an unprecedented string of back-to-back-to-back Big Ten Conference regular-season championships in 1994, 1995 and 1996. All told, Burke has overseen 20 regular-season conference championships and 13 tournament titles.

In academics, student-athletes regularly perform equal to or better than the student body, with athletes having earned a cumulative grade-point average above 3.0 for the last 14 semesters.

The athletics department is one of only seven Division I public NCAA institutions that do not require a subsidy from students or taxpayers to finance its operations. In fact, even while the department has invested nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in facility construction and renovation projects that have benefited student-athletes in all 18 programs under Burke, it has regularly contributed revenue to support the academic side of the university.

Beyond Purdue, Burke is past president of the Division 1A Athletic Directors Association and previously served on the NCAA Leadership Council, which identifies important issues surrounding the future of the NCAA and reports to the board of directors, and several Big Ten boards (Executive, Program/Budget and Compliance committees) and NCAA working groups (Championships and Competitions and Postseason Football committees).

In 2010 Burke was honored as the Football Bowl Subdivision Central Region Under Armour AD of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. 

Sources:  Michael Berghoff, trustees@purdue.edu

Tom Schott, senior associate athletics director, tschott@purdue.edu  

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