Mary Burke Steps Down as Bryant Women’s Basketball Coach After 32 Seasons
Bryant University Press Release
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bryant University head women’s basketball coach Mary Burke has announced her decision to step down to pursue other opportunities.
“I want to thank coach Burke for all that she has done for the women’s basketball program at Bryant University,” said Vice President, Athletics and Recreation Bill Smith. “Her commitment to Bryant for more than three decades, recruiting and developing so many outstanding student-athletes over the years is truly a testament to not only her coaching ability but her leadership and dedication to Bryant Women’s Basketball. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”
“Coach Burke’s Bulldog spirit and the support and care that she has provided for women athletes during her long tenure will have enduring impact on our University,” said Bryant President Ross Gittell, Ph.D. “Her commitment and contributions to Bryant and our students cannot be overstated. I wish coach Burke much-continued success and happiness in the future.”
Burke, who recently completed her 32nd season as the head coach of the women’s program, won over 400 games during her career at Bryant since being named head coach in 1991. She guided Bryant to four NCAA Division II tournament appearances before leading the program into Division I in 2008. Under Burke’s leadership, the Bulldogs would post four winning seasons at the Division I level, including a 22-9 mark in 2014-15. The Bulldogs won the Northeast Conference Regular Season Championship with a 14-4 league record. This past season, Bryant qualified for the America East Conference tournament, the school’s first year competing in the conference, falling to top-seed Vermont on March 1. In 32 seasons, Burke’s career record was 441-484.
“I would like to thank Bryant University president Ross Gittell and Director of Athletics Bill Smith for my tenure at Bryant,” Burke said. “It was an unprecedented opportunity of a lifetime. It was an honor and a privilege to have spent 32 years as the head women’s basketball coach at Bryant University. I will take with me so many great memories and lasting friendships.”
Burke was a four-time Rhode Island Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year (’07, ’08, ’13, ’14) and led the Black and Gold to the NEC Championship game on two occasions. Under her watch, the Bulldogs produced 12 All-NEC players and two NEC major award winners. Burke’s resume also includes five Bryant Athletics Hall of Famers and 16 1,000 point scorers.
A 1987 grad of Providence College, Burke graduated second on the Friars’ all-time scoring list with 1,672 points. She was an All-American as a senior in 1987 and was inducted into the Providence College Hall of Fame in 2007. Burke is also a member of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame, earning enshrinement in 2004.
Bryant will immediately begin a national search for its next head coach.