Shawn Burke enters his second season at the helm of the women’s soccer program after leading the squad to their first-ever Mid-American Conference Tournament Championship and NCAA Appearance in 2014, his first season as head coach.
Burke revived a program that won just 11 games over the past two seasons in 2014 as he was awarded the MAC Coach of the Year award after leading his team to a program-best 16-2-3 overall record to go along with a perfect 9-0-2 MAC record, just the third unbeaten MAC season in conference history.
Burke has made a lasting imprint on the UB women’s soccer program as he has led the squad to a regular season MAC Championship, first-ever MAC Tournament Championship and first-ever NCAA appearance last season.
Burke finished the 2014 campaign tied for the NCAA lead in wins (16) for a first-year head coach and he had the highest winning percentage (.833) out of all first-year head coaches in the country. He helped the Bulls earn a sweep in all MAC major awards following the season as UB won Offensive Player of the Year (Katie Roberts), Defensive Player of the Year (Jackie Hall), Freshman of the Year (Laura Dougall) and Coach of the Year (Burke). The 2014 UB Bulls became the first program in MAC history to sweep all four major awards.
Inheriting basically the same squad from 2013 that won six matches, Burke fine-tuned the Bulls roster to turn them into a nationally recognized program. One of the most noticable changes that Burke made was changing MAC Defensive Player of the Year, Jackie Hall, from midfield to center back. Hall blossomed into one of the premier center backs in the country under Burke’s tutelage and prowess as a defensive oriented coach.
Prior to taking over as head coach, Burke served five years as assistant coach. Serving as the team’s liaison to academic services, Burke has helped the Bulls reach new heights in the classroom. Over his five season’s, the UB women’s soccer program has been one of the top teams on campus, accumulating over a 3.20 team grade point average in each season. Following the 2011 season, junior defender Shannon Algoe was named to the Capital One Academic All-American second team, becoming the first Bull to do so under Burke’s guidance. Algoe earned a 4.0 GPA and was one of 33 players recognized on the All-American teams.
During his five seasons as an assistant coach at Buffalo, Burke’s defense proved to be one of the best units in the Mid-America Conference, averaging seven shutouts a season over the last three years. Burke’s defense recorded a school record 12 shutouts during the 2011 season, compiling a record of 12-5-4 on the season and advancing to the MAC Tournament semifinals. The successful 2011 season helped the Bulls jump 200 spots in the RPI rankings from the previous season, the biggest jump of any team in the country.
Prior to joining the Bulls in 2009, Burke served as an assistant coach for the Canisius College men’s soccer team for two seasons.
Burke was a standout player at Mercyhurst College from 1998-2002, winning five straight GLIAC Championships. In 2002, Burke was named Great Lakes Conference Defensive Player of the year. He was also a three-time first-team All-Conference and two-time All-Region player selection. In his final year of play at Mercyhurst, Burke helped lead the Lakers to the Division II Final Four and the school’s first and only #1 national ranking. Burke graduated from Mercyhurst in 2002 with a degree in elementary education and graduated this May with his Master’s in Higher Education Administration from the University at Buffalo.
Burke holds a USSF “A” license as well as a US Soccer National Goalkeeping. Burke also holds a National Youth License and currently works with the local Black Watch Soccer Club.