Illinois Institute of Technology Athletics announces that Keith Burke has been hired as head coach for the men’s and women’s cross country and track and field programs. Burke will begin immediately and brings a large amount of experience to both programs.
“Keith Burke will bring a lot of energy and passion to the cross country and track and field programs at Illinois Tech,” said Athletic Director Joe Hakes. “He has been involved with local programs at different levels and has a strong vision for what we can build here. We are excited about the future of the program.”
Burke comes to Illinois Tech by way of Malcolm X College, where he served in the same role since January 2015. He coordinated all aspects of the school’s Cross Country and Track and Field programs, including recruiting, training, travel, and equipment. Establishing new team rules and monitoring academic progress, Burke improved Malcolm X College’s teams both in and out of competition.
Prior to Malcolm X, Burke made stops at Waubonsee Community College and Prairie State College. At Waubonsee, he was the head men’s and women’s cross country coach for just over two years, increasing the size of the program by 25 percent through his recruiting efforts. Burke served as an assistant at Prairie State for two years, developing new workout programs and motivational strategies to enhance the student-athlete experience.
Burke also had success as an athlete with a decorated career at Prairie State. He was a team captain and NJCAA National Cross Country Qualifier before moving on to Aurora University to finish his degree, where he was named All-Conference.
“I have learned a great deal of life lessons through my own running that helped me compete and now help me coach,” said Burke. “My mission as a coach and mentor is the holistic development of student-athletes through the sport and the Division III mission.”
Burke also serves as U.S. Army Reserve 1st Lt. and is commander for the 347th Combat Support Detached Regiment. He graduated from Aurora in 2011 with a B.A. in Criminal Justice and minor in Physical Education/Coaching. Burke is currently pursuing his MBA at Aurora with an emphasis in Operations Management.