Buffalo hires Shawn Burke as head coach after five-year stint as assistant
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Shawn Burke has been hired as the head coach at Buffalo, UB director of athletics Danny White announced on Wednesday. Burke takes over the reins of the Bulls program after serving as an assistant coach at Buffalo for the past five seasons.
"We have been well aware of Shawn's talents and, after searching the country, we determined that he is the best fit for our program moving forward," White said. "Shawn has connections with our current student-athletes and our recruiting base and he knows what it will take to win in the Mid-American Conference."
Last season the Buffalo defense was stellar once again under the watchful eye of Burke, posting a season goals-against average of 0.88 while earning five shutouts. Under Burke's tutelage, senior goalkeeper Ainsley Wheldon, part of Burke's first recruiting class, finished her career as one of the greatest goalkeepers to wear the UB uniform. Wheldon closed out her UB career ranking in the top five in all major goalkeeper categories in school history, including second in shutouts (20), third in wins (22), third in saves (385) and fourth in goals-against average (1.20).
Serving as the team's liaison to academic services, Burke has helped the Bulls reach new heights in the classroom. During his five season's, the team has been one of the top teams on campus, accumulating a team grade point average better than 3.20 in each season. Following the 2011 season, junior defender Shannon Algoe was named to the Capital One Academic All-American second team, becoming the first Bull to do so under Burke's guidance. Algoe earned a 4.0 GPA and was one of 33 players recognized on the All-American teams.
Also serving as the team's recruiting coordinator, the Bulls have produced five All-MAC players along with three All-MAC freshman team members during Burke's tenure.
During his five seasons as an assistant coach at Buffalo, Burke's defense proved to be one of the best units in the Mid-America Conference, averaging seven shutouts a season during the past three years. Burke's defense recorded a school-record 12 shutouts during the 2011 season, compiling a record of 12-5-4 on the season and advancing to the MAC tournament semifinals. The successful 2011 season helped the Bulls jump 200 spots in the RPI rankings from the previous season, the biggest jump of any team in the country.
Prior to joining the Bulls in 2009, Burke served as an assistant coach for the Canisius men's soccer team for two seasons.
"I want to thank Danny White and Kathy Twist for this incredible opportunity," Burke said. "This is truly an exciting time to be a part of the State University of New York, Buffalo and the direction of our athletic department. The leadership, support staff, and athletes here at UB make this a tremendous place to work and pursue MAC championships."
Burke was a standout player at Mercyhurst from 1998-2002, winning five consecutive GLIAC championships. In 2002, Burke was named Great Lakes Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He was also a three-time first-team all-conference and two-time all-region player selection. In his final year of play at Mercyhurst, Burke helped lead the Lakers to the Division II national semifinals and the school's first and only No. 1 national ranking.