Mary Burke (basketball)

Mary L. Burke (born c. 1965) is an American basketball coach who is currently the head women's basketball coach at Bryant University. She has held the position since 1991. Prior to coaching at Bryant, she served as an assistant coach for four years under Ralph Tomasso at Bryant.

Mary Burke
Current position
TitleHead coach
Record394–388 (.504)
Biographical details
Bornc. 1965
Warwick, Rhode Island
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1987–1991Bryant (ass't)
Head coaching record
Overall394–388 (.504)
Tournaments1–7 (NCAA DII)

Playing career

While attending Toll Gate High School in Warwick, Rhode Island in the early 1980s, Burke played both volleyball and basketball. She earned All-State recognition in both sports, three times in basketball and twice in volleyball. She was named Rhode Island's Schoolgirl Athlete of the Year in 1983.[1][2]

While enrolled at Providence College, Burke helped lead the 1985–86 Friars to the Big East Championship Game and a bid in the NCAA tournament and also secure her team's entry into the 1986–87 NWIT. She was named a District I All-American as a senior. In 1987, she was named Rhode Island's Female Athlete of the Year.[1][2]

Coaching career

Burke took an assistant coaching job with Bryant University after graduating college in 1987. She was promoted to head coach on August 1, 1991, becoming only the fourth women's head basketball coach in Bulldogs history.[1][2]

In the 2003–04 season, the Bulldogs finished the year ranked in the top 25 of the USA Today Division II Coaches Poll and advanced to the NCAA DII Regional Final, where they lost.[1]

Burke's Bulldogs in the 2007–08 season were picked to finish ninth in the preseason coaches' poll. They went on to defeat three nationally ranked teams en route to a sixth-place conference finish and seventh-seed NCAA DII Regional Tournament ranking. It was Bryant's seventh NCAA tourney appearance and the team's last season in Division II.[1][2]

In 2012–13, Burke helped her Bulldogs to their first-ever trip to the Northeast Conference Tournament. Bryant won eight of its final 13 games to clinch the eighth and final spot. Burke also earned her 300th career victory on January 26, 2013.[1]

The following season, the Bulldogs, coached by Burke, reached the NEC Tourney semifinals and earned a berth to the Women's Basketball Invitational.[1]

In 2014–15, Burke led the Bulldogs to their best Division I season to date in which they earned a share of the NEC regular-season title. The first conference championship of her career, Burke had a record-setting season featuring a tie for the most wins in program history (22), most NEC wins in a season (14), and the highest finish in the NEC standings (tied for first). Again, the Bulldogs advanced to the NEC Tourney semifinals.[1]

Burke took her Bulldogs back to the NEC Tourney in the 2015–16 season, notching 14–4 conference mark, including a 10–0 start in league play, and becoming one of only seven teams to reach the 10–0 tally in NEC history (29 years). Burke recorded 10-plus conference wins in 14 seasons, including eight-straight years with double-digit league victories (2000–08). The Bulldogs advanced for the third-straight year to the league semifinals.[1]

In 2016–17, Burke led the Bulldogs to their best-ever NEC finish, reaching the conference finals, after earning the No. 4 seed in the league tournament.[1]

Head coaching record

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Bryant Bulldogs (NE10) (1991–2008)
1991–92 Bryant 11–176–12
1992–93 Bryant 12–157–11
1993–94 Bryant 12–157–11
1994–95 Bryant 18–910–8
1995–96 Bryant 19–1011–5NCAA First Round
1996–97 Bryant 7–195–13
1998–99 Bryant 10–177–13
1999–2000 Bryant 11–165–13
2000–01 Bryant 13–1410–12
2001–02 Bryant 16–1311–11ECAC Second Round
2002–03 Bryant 19–1212–10ECAC Second Round
2003–04 Bryant 22–917–5NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2004–05 Bryant 18–1212–10NCAA First Round
2005–06 Bryant 13–148–14
2006–07 Bryant 19–1014–7
2007–08 Bryant 20–1212–10NCAA First Round
Bryant: 250–230 (.521)154–165 (.483)
Bryant Bulldogs (Northeast) (2008–present)
2008–09 Bryant 11–18
2009–10 Bryant 13–1610–8
2010–11 Bryant 10–197–11
2011–12 Bryant 14–157–11
2012–13 Bryant 13–188–10
2013–14 Bryant 17–1511–7WBI First Round
2014–15 Bryant 22–914–4
2015–16 Bryant 18–1314–4
2016–17 Bryant 18–1411–7
2017–18 Bryant 9–218–10
Bryant: 144–158 (.477)90–72 (.556)
Total:394–388 (.504)


  1. "Mary Burke Bio". Bryant Bulldogs. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  2. Gilooly, John (December 10, 2008). "Providence Journal: Hoops pioneer Mary Burke among those headed for Hall of Fame induction". Bryant Bulldogs. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
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