New Face in Athletic Department

CLARK TINDER ‘20 | STAFF WRITER • New Associate Athletic Director Kate Burke is ready to get to work. Although she may currently be lacking a permanent office, Burke does not lack experience by any means. Burke grew up in Prospect Heights, a suburb northwest of Chicago. Her parents were both coaches; her dad coached cross country, while mom coached swimming. As a child, Burke spent a lot of time at the pool with Mom and her three sisters and started to enjoy the sport. Burke enjoyed the sport enough to swim collegiately at Eastern Illinois University. In highschool Burke picked up water polo and enjoyed that as much as swimming. While abroad at the University of Limerick in Ireland she had the opportunity to play on a club water polo team.

With a background as an athlete and taking several classes in high school about sports and society and sports in media, Burke quickly realized she wanted to find

her niche in athletics. This path has been one that has taken her all over the country. She was associate director for marketing and membership at Northwestern University, then working at the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse, on to Oakland University in Michigan, and then before Wabash at Colorado School of Mines where she served as the Associate Athletics Director for External Relations and Director of their Booster organization. Wabash was appealing to Burke because she wanted to come back to the midwest and enjoyed her time in Indiana while at Graduate school at Indiana State.

Burke also saw this job as an opportunity to put together everything she had learned from her experiences and could wear many different hats. During her on campus tour
with coaches Olmy Olmstead ‘04 and Kyle Brummet, Burke could feel the excitement
and passion that not only our campus exuded but also our coaches. Burke believed she had researched the campus quite a bit but as soon as Coach Olmstead started explaining some of our deeper traditions, the more excited she became and soon realized how special Wabash College is.

Burke wants to use her experiences to help grow the athletic department here at Wabash. You can now subscribe to a newsletter, FitZone, that focuses on the happenings of the athletic department. This newsletter contains insight and tips on nutrition, training safety, and interviews. Burke also has a passion for working with student-athletes through SAAC, or the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She wants to help student-athletes have opportunities to reach out to the community and support each other. SAAC is a great opportunity for easy dialogue with each other and a way to come together and help the campus as a whole. Burke is also very excited to help organize the Intra Murals here at Wabash. She is hoping that using this new online system will keep people engaged and let more people know who is winning and

who the players to watch are. She wants to find ways to reward the IM teams that win championships on this campus and is always looking for input from students.

Burke is very excited to be at Wabash. In her first month here she has already gotten a taste of what makes Wabash so special. She is looking forward to meeting as many students as she can and can usually be found working out of the athletic department conference room for now but is easily reached at her email. The athletic department has had a very strong year. They have been able to secure new sponsorships and apparel while maintaining a student oriented mentality. Our athletic department was strong, but adding someone with experience like Burke’s shows just how committed Wabash is to excellence in every aspect.