Cheryl Burnett

Cheryl Elaine Burnett (born June 13, 1958) is an American former women's college basketball coach and player. She was the head coach of the Southwest Missouri State women's basketball team from 1987 to 2002. At Southwest Missouri State, she compiled a 319–136 record (.701) and led her teams to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament in 1992 and 2001. She also served as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines women's basketball team from 2003 to 2007, compiling a record of 35–83 (.297). She played college basketball at the University of Kansas from 1976 to 1980.

Cheryl Burnett
Biographical details
Born (1958-06-13) June 13, 1958
Centralia, Missouri
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1980–1981Lawrence HS (asst)
1981–1984Illinois (asst.)
1984–1987Southwest Missouri State (asst)
1987–2002Southwest Missouri State
Head coaching record
Overall354–219 (.618)
Accomplishments and honors
9 Missouri Valley Conference championships
NCAA Final Four, 1992 and 2001

Playing career

Burnett is a native of Centralia, Missouri. She played basketball at Centralia High School where she was selected as an All-American during her senior year.[1]

Burnett received a scholarship to play basketball at the University of Kansas. She was the first woman to receive a full athletic scholarship to that university. She was a starter at the guard position for the Kansas Jayhawks women's basketball team for all four years from 1976 to 1980. In 1977, she was selected as a Big Eight Conference All-Tournament player.[1][2]

Kansas statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Year Team GP Points FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1976-77 Kansas 24 240 33.8% - 77.2% 3.7 10.0
1977-78 Kansas 28 278 36.1% - 68.4% 3.8 9.9
1978-79 Kansas 38 183 40.0% - 55.6% 2.5 1.6 1.3 0.2 4.8
1979-80 Kansas 37 211 37.4% - 70.7% 2.7 2.9 1.5 0.1 5.7
Career 127 912 36.5% - 69.9% 3.1 1.3 0.8 0.1 7.2

Coaching career

Early years

Burnett was drafted to play professional basketball by the New Jersey Gems of the Women's Professional Basketball League.[2] She opted instead to pursue a career in coaching. In 1980, after graduating from Kansas, Burnett began her coaching career as an assistant girls' basketball coach at Lawrence High School in Lawrence, Kansas. In August 1981, she was hired as an assistant coach for the University of Illinois women's basketball team.[2]

Southwest Missouri State

In 1984, Burnett was hired as an assistant coach of the Southwest Missouri State women's basketball team in Springfield, Missouri. She became the head coach in 1987 and held that post for 15 years from 1987 to 2002. Her teams won nine Missouri Valley Conference championships, received invitations to the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament 10 times, and advanced to the Final Four in 1992 and 2001. She compiled an overall record of 319–136 (.701) at Southwest Missouri State.[3] Players recruited and developed by Burnett include Jackie Stiles who set the NCAA career scoring record with 3,393 points.[4] In April 2002, Burnett resigned her post at Southwest Missouri State, indicating that she intended to look for another job.[1][5]

University of Michigan

In December 2003, Burnett was hired by the University of Michigan as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines women's basketball team.[6] In four seasons at Michigan, Burnett compiled an overall record of 35–83 (.297) and a record of 10–54 (.156) against Big Ten Conference opponents. Her teams lost 20 or more games in her last three seasons at Michigan and finished in last place in the Big Ten in 2005 and 2006 and in 10th place in 2007. She retired as Michigan's head coach in March 2007.[7][8][9]


In February 2003, Burnett was inducted into the Southwest Missouri State Hall of Fame.[10] In October 2009, she was also inducted into Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame.[11]


  1. "Burnett resigns at Southwest Missouri (AP story)". Southeast Missourian. April 23, 2002. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015.
  2. "Burnett named Illini assistant". Lawrence Journal-World. August 9, 1981.
  3. "Cheryl Burnett Bio". Missouri State Bears.
  4. "Top of Their World". The Spokesman-Review. March 24, 2001.
  5. Mechelle Voepel (April 23, 2002). "Burnett resigns at SMS: Coach took Bears to two Final Fours". The Kansas City Star.
  6. Josh Holman and Ellen McGarrity (December 10, 2003). "Introducing: Cheryl Burnett". The Michigan Daily.
  7. "Michigan's Burnett retires from coaching". (AP story). March 6, 2007.
  8. "Burnett out after 4 years at U-M". The Detroit News. March 7, 2007.
  9. "Women's Hoops Coach Burnett Announces Retirement". CBS Sports. March 6, 2007.
  10. "Burnett highlights SMS Hall inductions". Springfield News Leader (Springfield, Missouri). February 15, 2003. p. D.5.
  11. "MVC Hall to honor three". Peoria Journal Star. October 21, 2009.
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