Barbara Burke

burkeEIU Athletic Director


Barbara Burke enters her second year as the athletic director at Eastern Illinois University. Working on a five year master plan, Burke made an immediate impact in her first season with several facility enhancement projects including new graphics in Lantz Arena. Already in year two she has secured funding for a video scoreboard at O’Brien Field, updated locker rooms for several sports teams and new fencing on the baseball, soccer and softball fields. 

She assumed her duties as the ninth full-time athletic director in the Panthers 109 years of athletic competition on June 1, 2008. 

Burke spent the previous 10 years at Wyoming, serving in a variety of capacities since first joining the staff in March 1998. Since July 2006, she has served as the deputy director of athletics and senior women’s administrator. In that role, she helped to oversee strategic planning for the department, as well as the day-to-day operations of Wyoming’s 17-sport, $19 million athletic program. 

In addition to her years of service at Wyoming as a senior administrator, Burke has had athletic administration experience at the University of Texas at El Paso (1997-98), Marshall University (1994-97), and West Virginia State University (1992-94). During stints at Wyoming and UTEP, Burke was named interim athletic director at the institutions, serving as both schools made transitions to new athletic directors. 

A member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of America (NACDA) and National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA), Burke has served on numerous athletic committees, including the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball committee (2005-07), Mountain West Conference Championship committee (2004), and Southern Conference Softball Sports/Tournament committee (1995-96). She served as Wyoming’s representative on the Mountain West Conference transition team as the new league was formed in 1998. 

Burke also brings years of coaching and playing experience to Eastern Illinois. She was a four-year member of both the softball and basketball teams at Western Michigan University (1976-80), leading the Broncos to the Women’s College Softball World Series in 1980. She was inducted into the WMU Hall of Fame in 1988. 

A native of Kalamazoo, Mich., Burke started her coaching career at Kalamazoo Central High School, with her first collegiate coaching job coming in 1980 as the head softball coach and assistant basketball coach at Tennessee Temple University. She followed that with coaching stops at Clearwater Christian College in Florida, Cornerstone College in Michigan, Indiana University Southeast and West Virginia State College. Three times she was named the district coach of the year during her softball and basketball coaching career. 

Burke earned a bachelor of science degree from Western Michigan in 1980 and a master of education degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1984.