Rob Burke, a graduate and former hockey player at Fredonia State, has been named the second head coach of the Buffalo State women’s hockey program in an announcement made by athletics director Jerry Boyes.
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to return to the SUNY system to lead this program,” said Burke. “Since the first day I was on campus for the interview, Buffalo State felt like home and I can’t wait to get started and build relationships with the players and staff.”
“We are very pleased to be able to hire someone with such a strong background in women’s hockey,” said Boyes. “Rob recognizes the importance of serving as a mentor to his student-athletes on and off the ice and we expect him to be a great leader for our program.”
A native of Montreal, Burke spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach at Ivy League Division I Cornell University. While on the Big Red’s staff, he worked two seasons under Melody Davidson who left the program to serve as head coach of the gold medal-winning Canadian national team in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. In addition to his assistant coaching duties, he also served as the liaison with the Tompkins Girls Hockey Association in running the Cub Club, a program pairing up Cornell players with young girls who are just learning to play hockey.
Prior to Cornell, he spent three seasons as the head coach at Hamline University, a Division III school in St. Paul, Minn. During his tenure, Burke mentored an All-America runner-up goalkeeper, three all-conference selections, one all-rookie team member, and two all-academic honorees while moving the program to varsity status. He brought 24 students to Hamline in only two recruiting years. While developing the foundation for the program on the ice, Burke also emphasized success in the classroom, coaching 11 Dean’s list students and had an overall team grade point average of 3.12.
Burke has also worked with numerous youth hockey programs, camps and clinics, including the Cornell Girls Hockey Camp, the Rocky Mountain Elite Girls Hockey Camp in Colorado, the Cutting Edge Hockey Camp in Connecticut and the Tidewater Squirt Travel Hockey Team in Chesapeake, Va.
His additional experience includes two seasons as the head coach, general manager and co-founder of the Virginia Commonwealth University hockey club. Burke’s coaching career began during the 1993-94 season, when he was a volunteer assistant with the Richmond Renegades of the ECHL, working with several pro scouts.
Burke has his Advanced (Level IV) Coaching Certification for USA Hockey, and has also served as an official under USA Hockey. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Fredonia in Theatre Arts in 1992.