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“The time has
come for this
program to begin
winning not just
Continued from page 1
appearances in the National Junior College
Athletic Association tournament — 1984, 1988
and 1992 — with the Braves making the Final
Four round during the ‘84 tourney. A trio of
Region X titles, three Eastern Tarheel Conference
championships and one Carolinas Conference
crown have also been mixed in during Burke’s 18-
year stay at Chowan.
His record with the Braves is 365-151, making
him the all-time wiimingest coach in Chowan
However, Burke’s success story isn’t just
limited to the mid-Atlantic coastal area. That was
evident when Chowan Athletic Director Diane
Morea read a long list of congratulatory letters
following the win. Headlining that list was a note
from Burke’s college coach, Fred McCall, formerly
of Campbell College.
There were also letters from current Campbell
coach Billy Lee, Jeff Capel of ODU, NC State
Athletic Director Les Robinson, Bobby Cremins
of Geoi^ia Tech, DePaul University’s Pat
Kennedy, Mike Dement of SMU and Dave Odom
of Wake Forest.
“Those letters caught me a bit off guard,” said
Burke, who became a bit emotional when he
addressed the crowd following Friday’s win.
“1 really appreciate all that our athletic
director did for this occasion,” he said, “as well as
my assistant coaches, John Marion and Greg
Taylor That was really a touch of class on their
But no sooner had all the smiles and the pats
on the back ended, and Burke was already doing
what he does best — planning for Chowan’s next
opponent. “I’m heading out to scout the next
game,” admitted Burke. “Four-himdred wins are
nice, but you can’t win the next one without a lot
of hard work.”
It’s hard work and desire that Burke thinks
holds the key to future success. “Our program
here at Chowan has long prided itself with the
success we’ve enjoyed,” acknowledged Burke,
“but there’s more to the game than just wins.
We’ve had to overcome a lot of obstacles since we
moved up to senior college status,” he explained,
“and the time has arrived for this program to begin
winning not just games, but championships.”
Burke’s first crack at being a college basketball
coach came at Greensboro from 1971-74. In 1975,
photo collection by Cal Bryant
he moved to Campbell, his alma mater, to serve as
an assistant. That was followed by two years
(1976-77) at Guilford College as an assistant.
Burke spent the next basketball season (1977-
78) at the high school ranks as the head coach at
High Point Central. Prior to coming to Chowan
College in 1980, he spent the 1979 season away
from the coaching ranks.
‘1 really appreciate what Coach [Jim] Garrison
did for me by allowing me to extend my coaching
career here at Chowan,” said Burke of the school’s
former athletic director, who hired him prior to the
1980-81 season. “It’s been a long love affair here at
Chowan over all these years,” Burke asserted.
Burke couldn’t recall the final score or the
opponent against whom he notched his 100th career
win. That milestone, however, was at home — at
Chowan. Win number 200 came on February 18,
1988 during an 84-72 decision at Louisburg College.
His 300th career win came in dramatic fashion
as Burke’s Braves gained their third trip to the
national fmals thanks to an 83-78 victory on March
10, 1992 during the District Nine championship
game at Brunswick (Ga.) Junior College.
Page 10 — CHOWAN TODAY. Winter ]997-98