College Hockey:
Miami Student Assistant Burke, Son of Maple Leafs GM, Dies

Brendan Burke, a student assistant at Miami and the son of Toronto Maple Leafs and U.S. men’s Olympic team general manager Brian Burke, died Friday as a result of injuries suffered in a car accident in Indiana.

The Maple Leafs released a statement Friday confirming the news, adding that the organization was “saddened.”

Brendan Burke, 21, and a passenger, 18-year-old Mark Reedy of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., died at the scene of the accident on U.S. 35 north of Economy, Ind., according to the Paladium-Item of Richmond, Ind.

The newspaper reported that investigators said Burke was driving eastbound in a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee during a snowstorm when the vehicle slid sideways into an oncoming truck, according to witnesses. The driver of the 1997 Ford truck was not injured.

Brendan Burke was profiled by ESPN.com in December about his decision to reveal to his father and the Miami team that he was gay.

After his decision to come out, Brendan Burke told thestar.com, “The reaction from the press and fans and everyone has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Burke grew up in Canton, Mass., and graduated from Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, Mass., before attending Miami.

His duties as a student assistant included work with video and statistics.

Miami players did not speak to the media after Friday’s 2-0 home victory over Lake Superior State, and coach Enrico Blasi made only a brief statement to the media, commenting on the game.

RedHawks players were visibly upset after the game.

A Miami athletics spokesperson said the school would not issue a statement about Burke’s death Friday night.

“Our heart goes out to Brian and his family in this very difficult time,” USA Hockey executive director Dave Ogrean said in a news release. “We know the prayers of the entire hockey family, including our Olympic team, are with the Burke family.”

Contributing: Michael Solomon, Todd D. Milewski

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