Barbara Burke spent six years as the director of athletics at Eastern Illinois and was instrumental in bringing back former alumni like New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, who was the starting quarterback from 1983-86.
March 27, 2014
New Orleans - Tulane University Director of Athletics Rick Dickson announced today the hiring of Eastern Illinois University Director of Athletics Barbara Burke as Tulane's new Deputy Athletics Director/Chief Operating Officer and she will begin her duties for the Green Wave in late April.
Burke brings 20 years of experience as a collegiate administrator to the Green Wave, including the last six years as a Division I director of athletics. Her responsibilities at Tulane will include financial and budget management, personnel supervision and management, and she will assist with academics, compliance, student support, financial aid, facilities and game-day operations. Additionally, Burke will work closely with the director of athletics and senior administration to detail strategic plans and goals.
"In order to complete the university's efforts of rebuilding Tulane Athletics for an exciting future, we are pleased to announce the hiring of Barbara Burke," Dickson said. "Barbara is highly respected throughout the NCAA and has over 38 years of involvement as a student-athlete, coach, and highly skilled administrator. She is a quality person with great organizational and planning skills, who will bring great passion and mentoring to our staff and student-athletes. This is a great addition for Tulane."
"This is a wonderful opportunity to join the Tulane family and to lead the athletics program on a day-to-day basis," Burke said. "I am excited to work with Rick and with the opportunities of moving into the American Athletic Conference. In speaking with Rick, the committee and others, I feel there is a strong commitment to the intercollegiate athletics program and the direction it is going with the new facility projects, especially bringing football back to campus, and the move into a new conference."
"I would like to thank Rick, the committee and President (Scott) Cowen for this opportunity to move into this new leadership position and for what they have done for Tulane, as well as the vision they have for the university. I would also like to thank our president here at Eastern Illinois, Dr. (William) Perry, and Dr. Dan Nadler for the opportunity to lead the Eastern Illinois Athletics program for the last six years. I know the work and success we have experienced here has afforded me the opportunity to move on to Tulane," Burke said.
Burke spent six years (2008-14) as the director of athletics at Eastern Illinois University. During her time at the helm of EIU athletics, she created a master plan for the Panthers Athletic Department and helped oversee growth in the Panther Club, both in funds raised and membership.
In February 2010, Burke unveiled the Panthers Blueprint for Success as a campaign for athletic facility enhancement. As part of that campaign, the Panthers renovated the Lantz Arena Lobby to create the Baker/Warmouth Hall of Champions and added a new outdoor track and football playing surface for the 2012 season.
Under Burke's direction, the Panthers captured three Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner's Cups in the five years that the award for overall OVC excellence has been awarded. In 2013, EIU won its third OVC Commissioner's Cup, as the program had six teams win regular season conference championships, the highest total since EIU joined the OVC in 1996. EIU also claimed the OVC Commissioner's Cup in 2010 and 2011. The other two years, EIU was the runner-up in the Cup standings.
She assumed her duties as the ninth full-time athletic director in the Panthers' 109 years of athletic competition on June 1, 2008.
"Barbara is a sitting athletic director who will bring experience and knowledge to our existing athletic department and will be a tremendous asset to Rick as we move into the next phase of the development of Tulane Athletics," said Rich Schmidt, the Chair of the Intercollegiate Athletic Committee for the Board of Tulane University.
"Barbara's experience and the job she has done really stood out. She has run a broad based athletic program and is familiar with high academic standards with limited resources. She knows how to get things done without having unlimited resources. Her overall maturity made her the perfect person to fill the role. I think she and Rick will be a perfect complement to each other and will allow him to continue in his external role while she will basically run the show on a daily basis. They will be a terrific team."
Prior to EIU, Burke spent 10 years at Wyoming, serving in a variety of capacities since first joining the staff in March 1998. From July 2006 until leaving for EIU, she was the deputy director of athletics and senior women's administrator. In that role, she helped to oversee strategic planning for the department, as well as, the day-to-day operations of Wyoming's 17-sport, $19 million athletic program.
In addition to her years of service at Wyoming as a senior administrator, Burke served in the athletic administration at the University of Texas at El Paso (1997-98), Marshall University (1994-97) and West Virginia State University (1992-94). During stints at Wyoming and UTEP, Burke was named interim athletics director at the institutions, as both schools made transitions to new athletic directors.
A member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of America (NACDA) and National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA), Burke has served on numerous athletic committees, including the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball committee (2005-07), Mountain West Conference Championship committee (2004), and Southern Conference Softball Sports/Tournament committee (1995-96). She served as Wyoming's representative on the Mountain West Conference transition team as the new league was formed in 1998.
In September 2010, Burke was selected to serve on the NCAA Women's Basketball Rules Committee and she was named the committee chair in August 2012. In addition to the NCAA Women's Basketball Rules Committee, Burke is currently serving a five year term on the NCAA Division I Championship/Sports Management Cabinet and recently completed her second term as a member of the FCS Central Regional Football Advisory committee.
As a student-athlete, Burke was a four-year member of both the softball and basketball teams at Western Michigan University (1976-80), leading the Broncos to the Women's College Softball World Series in 1980. She was inducted into the WMU Hall of Fame in 1988.
A native of Kalamazoo, Mich., Burke began her coaching career at Kalamazoo Central High School, with her first collegiate coaching job coming in 1980 as the head softball coach and assistant basketball coach at Tennessee Temple University. She followed that with coaching stops at Clearwater Christian College in Florida, Cornerstone College in Michigan, Indiana University Southeast and West Virginia State College. Three times she was named the district coach of the year during her softball and basketball coaching career.
Burke earned a bachelor's degree from Western Michigan in 1980 and a master of education degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1984.