Joe Burke enters his sixth year as an assistant coach at Navy.
Burke has been instrumental in the resurgence of the Navy basketball program, serving as one of its top recruiters. Burke has infused outstanding talent into the program and has helped Navy to continued improvement on the court. He has discovered talent that produces right away, as five players in his five years have earned Patriot League All-Rookie Team honors.
Last year, Burke helped the Midshipmen to a 19-11 overall record, equaling the most wins for the Navy program since the 1999-00 season. One of Burke's first recruits, Kaleo Kina, ended his career seventh on the career scoring list and was one of eight players nationally in 2008-09 to average 18.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 3.0 apg en route to first-team All-Patriot League accolades.
On the court, the team continued to flourish, leading the league in scoring again and ranking high nationally in field goal percentage defense and free throw percentage while starting essentially a four-guard lineup for the second straight season.
Two years ago, Navy finished second in the Patriot League with a 16-14 record, the program's best mark since 2001. With its four-guard lineup that flourished offensively, the Mids were the top-scoring team in the Patriot League, while forcing the most turnovers and creating the most steals in the conference defensively. He helped shape guards Kaleo Kina and Chris Harris into all-Patriot League performers, while helping Romeo Garcia earn all-Patriot League Rookie Team accolades. The Mids set school records a year ago in three-pointers made and free throw percentage, and forced the third-most turnovers in school history. Navy finished the year ranked in the top 50 nationally in scoring offense, three-pointers made, free throw percentage and steals per game.
In 2006-07, the Mids finished last season with a 14-16 record, their best record in six years. Navy accomplished that with a strong freshman class and talented upperclassmen. Under Burke's guidance, guards played a huge role in Navy's turnaround, as the Mids set school records for three-pointers made and attempted, as well as free throw percentage (all have since been broken). Navy was also one of the most-improved teams in the country on the defensive end, ranking in the top 50 nationally in scoring defense.
The Mids continued its rebuilding process four years ago, posting a 10-18 record for the second consecutive year, despite the majority of the team being freshman and sophomores. The squad continued its offensive improvement, leading the Patriot League in points per game in all games played.
Navy finished 2004-05 ranked among the country's top 50 in two statistical categories -- rebound margin and steals. The Mids' +5.1 rebound margin was the 32nd best among 326 Div. I schools in the nation. Meanwhile, Navy finished No. 34 in steals per game, grabbing 8.9 per contest.
The Mids finished the 2004-05 campaign ranked No. 1 in the Patriot League in four statistical categories (overall games), including scoring offense. Navy averaged 69.7 points per game, 2.5 points more than second-place Lafayette (67.2 ppg). The Mids displayed a +13.5 scoring gain over the previous season, while averaging just under six rebounds a game more than the 2003-04 campaign.
Burke earned his first coaching position at Bishop Eustace Prep High School in Pennsauken, N.J., where he worked for Lange's father, Bill, one of the winningest coaches in the New Jersey high school ranks. He assisted a team that went 25-2 in 1997-98 and was the No. 1 ranked team in South Jersey. Burke also assisted the 1996-97 team that went 25-6 and was ranked No. 2 in the state en route to winning the South Jersey Championship.
Burke moved on to Philadelphia University in 1998-99, working alongside legendary Herb Magee, who has compiled more than 700-career wins. During his tenure, Burke served as the director of scouting and recruiting for a program that has consistently produced one of the most highly-successful Division II teams in the country. The 1998-99 team finished 21-6 and featured a top-six regional ranking and a top-25 appearance. The 1999-2000 team won 17 games and also earned a top-25 ranking.
After a two-year stay at Philadelphia University, Burke moved on to Cornell where he coached from 2001-04. His collegiate and scholastic coaching experience was instrumental in helping Big Red head coach Steve Donahue turn around the program. In 2003-04, Burke served as Cornell's top assistant, taking on recruiting, practice planning and game strategy. Since Burke left the kids he recruited, the Big Red has finished in second, third and first place in the Ivy League, Cornell's best finish in league play since 1988.
Burke also spent time working for the Hoop Group, which is nationally recognized as the top basketball camp, clinic and tournament organization in the country. His responsibilities included recruiting the top high school players throughout the country to attend these events, as well as providing individual basketball instruction for each of these players.
A 1996 graduate of Ursinus College, Burke was a two-time captain and played both baseball and basketball for the Bears.
Burke and his wife Victoria, are the parents of a son, Alec (5), and two daughters, Elena (3) and Olivia Grace (born Sept. 8, 2008).
# GO NAVY #