USC Upstate tabs Burke as Women’s Basketball Head Coach

USC Upstate Director of Athletics/Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Daniel Feig announced Monday that Becky Burke has been selected to lead the Spartans women’s basketball program, making her the 15th head coach in Upstate’s program history, second in the Division I era.

“I felt like USC Upstate was a place where we could win before I even came on my campus visit, and after visiting, that was confirmed for me. It comes down to that simply. This is a place where we can recruit because of the campus support and resources, and I think the conference is winnable. At the end of the day you want to bring in a staff that plays to win championships, and I think everything is in place to do just that,” said Burke.

“I’m looking forward to building relationships with the players and bringing fresh energy and life into the program. That’s what you need when you’re building, and I’m excited about watching them grow and seeing what they’re going to do.”

Burke takes the reins of the Upstate program after an impressive two-year stint at the NCAA DII level as the head coach at the University of Charleston in West Virginia. She brought the Golden Eagles back to national prominence in just her first season at the helm of the program in 2018-19, leading the team to a 25-7 record which was a 12-win improvement from the previous year. The Golden Eagles cracked the national top-25 that season and made their first NCAA Tournament since 2014 while leading the country in field goal percentage and the Mountain East Conference in defensive scoring. Burke coached a pair of First Team All-Conference picks which included a DII All-American.

In her second year, the Golden Eagles entered the 2019-20 season as the conference’s preseason No. 2 team and went on to a 23-7 record while once again leading the conference in defensive scoring behind another pair of All-Conference picks and the MEC Freshman of the Year.

Prior to her time at Charleston, Burke started the women’s basketball program at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz. in 2015 and went on to be the head coach of the Eagles for two seasons. She led the team to a winning record in its inaugural season in 2016-17. In her second season at ERAU, the Eagles ranked nationally in the NAIA top-25 and compiled a 21-6 record, 11-3 in the California Pacific Conference. Burke recruited and coached three all-conference performers in two seasons at ERAU.

Burke earned a spot on the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association 30-Under-30 list in 2019, and was the only head coach to appear on the exclusive list.

Before her head coaching career, Burke served as an assistant coach at Saint Joseph’s College for the 2014-15 season where she was the recruiting coordinator and strength and conditioning coach while also being responsible for player development, scouting, and scheduling. Prior to that, she was the director of basketball operations at California State University, Fullerton in 2013-14.

Burke had a standout playing career at the University of Louisville where she graduated with a degree in sports management in 2012. In four years as a Cardinal, she helped her team to three NCAA Tournament appearances including the championship game in 2009 and the Sweet Sixteen in 2011. She led the Cards in scoring her sophomore year and in 3-point field goal percentage her junior year. She tied a school record for 3-pointers in a game her senior year and ranks fourth all-time in 3-pointers made. Burke is a member of the 1,000-point club and became just the second Cardinal to participate in the State Farm College 3-Point Shoot-Out in 2012, finishing as the runner-up.

“I’m very grateful and humbled that AD Daniel Feig chose me to be the leader of this program and these young women,” Burke said. “I want to thank him, Sarah Gildersleeve, Interim Chancellor Cole and the other administrators for giving me this opportunity.”

A native of Clarks Summit, Pa., Burke starred at her hometown high school, Abington Heights. She was named the Pennsylvania Class 4A Player of the Year her senior year by the Associated Press and scored over 2,100 points in her four-year high school career.

All hires by the University of South Carolina Upstate athletic department are subject to an approved background check.

Photo Courtesy USC Upstate Athletics

Tagged with: