WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (www.purduesports.com) — Longtime Purdue athletics director and swimming & diving alum Morgan Burke has been honored for his contributions to the sport with the Charles McCaffree Award from the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America.
The McCaffree Award is presented annually to an individual connected to the sport of swimming & diving who has achieved outstanding success outside of the pool. Burke will be recognized at the CSCAA’s 57th-annual awards banquet May 8 at the Bahia Resort in San Diego.
“I can think of no one more deserving of this recognition than Morgan Burke,” Purdue president Mitch Daniels said. “He has remained committed to supporting Purdue’s swimmers and divers since his undergraduate days as a member of the team, through his tenure as our athletics director, during which he could often be found poolside, cheering on our student-athletes and keeping personal track of their times and scores. Purdue is proud of his legacy as one of the outstanding athletics directors in the country, and we’re glad to see his particular commitment to swimming and diving recognized with this terrific honor.”
Burke left an indelible mark on Purdue as athletics director from 1993 to 2016, while making his name as one of the visionary leaders in intercollegiate athletics. Prior to his retirement, Burke had the fourth-longest tenure among athletics directors at FBS institutions.
Recognizing the need for contemporary facilities, Burke and his staff identified and addressed construction and renovation projects benefiting every program since the start of the new millennium – with an investment of more than a quarter of a billion dollars. Among the new construction projects was the Boilermaker Aquatic Center, which opened in August 2001. It helped elevate the national profile of Purdue swimming & diving, providing the training amenities and environment that allowed David Boudia to develop from an NCAA champion to an Olympic gold medalist. The facility has also served as the host of the 2005 and 2010 NCAA Women’s Championships, the 2006 U.S. Open and six Big Ten Championships.
Burke was promoted to university vice president in February of 2014.
In 2010, Burke was honored as the Football Bowl Subdivision Central Region Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
Beyond Purdue, Burke is past president of the Division 1A Athletic Directors Association and previously served on the NCAA Leadership Council, which identifies important issues surrounding the future of the NCAA and reports to the Board of Directors. He also served on several Big Ten boards (Executive, Program/Budget and Compliance committees) and NCAA working groups (Championships and Competitions and Postseason Football committees).
A 1973 industrial management graduate and captain of the swimming team his senior year, Burke was a member of Phi Beta Kappa scholastic honorary. He earned a master’s degree in industrial relations from Purdue in 1975 and law degree from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago in 1990.
Known as the athletics director who came down from the grandstands because he was an avid fan and member of the John Purdue Club long before he was appointed to lead Purdue Athletics, Burke has vowed to return to the stands to cheer on the Boilermakers in retirement.
John Klinge – Purdue Women’s Swimming & Diving Head Coach, 2008-present (also a Purdue swimming alum)
“Morgan has been a tremendous leader for Purdue Athletics. The Purdue swimming & diving family could not be more proud of his career and the impact he has made on our programs, Purdue Athletics and the countless student-athletes he has impacted.”
Dan Ross – Purdue Men’s Swimming & Diving Head Coach, 1985-present (also a Purdue swimming alum)
“I have known Morgan since he worked at Inland Steel and attended our meets, including the Big Ten Championships my freshman year in 1977. He has been a Purdue guy his entire life and indisputably will leave a legacy of impacting every sport at Purdue via facility upgrades and a cumulative goal-oriented athletics department. He was there for me through some tough times personally and professionally, and for that I am hugely indebted to him. I hope he and Kate can relax, cheer on their Boilermakers and someday realize with a smile their true impact on Purdue University. Morgan guided Purdue Athletics into the 21st century and beyond, and left it all the better as he passed the reins to Mike Bobinski.”
Cathy Wright-Eger – Purdue Women’s Swimming & Diving Head Coach, 1987-2008
“Morgan was the type of athletics director that a swim coach dreams about. He knew all the swimmers and divers, knew their times and even their splits. He is such an advocate for the sport of swimming & diving, and has always made decisions best for the entire sport. I have learned many leadership lessons from Morgan and will always hold a place in my heart for him.”