One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for December 15, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
Coaching is like a brotherhood. You wind up meeting people in the profession that you are not related to or possibly don’t even work with but somehow you make a bond. For my wife and I in the mid 1980’s we vacationed in Myrtle Beach with another coaching family. We knew this family thru coaching but we never worked together, The family was the Burke’s and the coach in the family was Bob Burke.
The common denominator for Bob and I meeting was Joe Gallagher. Joe hired me at UNC Pembroke in 1977 to be his assistant coach. Bob was a good friend of Joe’s and thru him we meet in the fall 1977 and formed a long standing relationship.
That relationship led to vacationing together one summer at North Myrtle Beach, SC. My family of two young children got to hang out with his wife Jane and two children Rob and Ashlyn.
Photo below of Jane and Ashlyn from 2014. Jane is retired but was a superb leader in public education in North Carolina.
Ashlyn today is a grown professional women with a dynamic career as an event planner in Wilmington NC.
Jane’s husband and Ashlyn’s dad is very accomplished basketball coach who had success on every level. He coached high school, junior college, 4 year college, and had a stint in the N.B.A as an assistant coach.
Bob’s North Carolina reputation is tied to Chowan College now Chowan University. As their long time coach he had some special teams. He guided Chowan to numerous National Junior College Athletic Association Region X titles and three appearances in the NJCAA national tournament in Hutchinson, Kan. He took the 1983-1984 team to the NJCAA Final Four in 1984.
The star of that team was Nate McMillan, who later played at N.C. State and with the Seattle Supersonics.
There is not enough space in one post to tell all the stories and good times I and many others had with Bob Burke. I can tell you time spent with him will have your sides hurting from laughter as he recants the many moments he experienced as a coach.
Bob and Jane’s son is Rob Burke and he has followed in his dad’s footsteps as a coach.
The Friend-BOB BURKE
The Friend of the Friend-ROB BURKE
Like Father Like Son
Today Rob Burke is an Assistant Coach at Georgia Southern University.
Rob Burke spent the last five seasons (2010-2015) as an assistant coach at The Citadel, working under Chuck Drisell.
Rob like his dad is a high-energy guy who also served as head coach at Spartanburg Methodist College before moving to The Citadel. His teams finished with a record of 112-67 for a .625 winning percentage and averaged 19 wins per season during his six-year run (2004-10).
Rob has produced a winning record in every season as head coach, Rob’s team reached the 20-win plateau in 2005-06 (22-11) and 2007-08 (24-8). He was named Region 10 Coach of the Year in 2008-09 after returning only two players from the previous season’s squad.
Rob also learned from his dad the importance of the players you coach going on to graduate. He has seen 94 percent of his players from SMC, including Terrence Grier (Charleston Southern), John Anderson (Bethune-Cookman), Brendon Knox (Auburn), Chad Dewitt (Winthrop) and Vernon Taylor (Troy) who moved on to NCAA Division I programs all graduate. His work with the Pioneers resulted in four first-team all-region and eight second-team performers.
Don’t get to see the Burke family as much as I used too but happy to see their children are experiences great career success.
Bob got to coach Rob at Chowan and I know he is proud of what he has learned along the way. Rob is #14 at bottom of stairs-I suspect before too long he will continue to climb up to the top rung in coaching.