COLUMBIA — Bob Burchard, the Columbia College athletics director and men's basketball coach, will join the company of Bill Self, Tom Izzo, Jim Boeheim and an elite group of basketball gurus.
The National Association of Basketball Coaches has named Burchard to its board of directors. Burchard is the first National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics representative appointed.
Ernie Kent (formerly Oregon)
Larry Gipson (Northeastern State)
Phil Martelli (Saint Joseph’s)
Page Moir (Roanoke College)
Ron Hunter (Georgia State)
Dale Clayton (Carson-Newman College)
Tom Izzo (Michigan State)
Jeff Jones (American University)
Bill Self (Kansas)
Paul Hewitt (George Mason)
Bo Ryan (Wisconsin)
Charlie Brock (Springfield College)
Lorenzo Romar (Washington)
Mike Brey (Notre Dame)
Tim Carter (South Carolina State)
Trent Johnson (Louisiana State)
Lennie Acuff (Alabama-Huntsville)
Mark Gottfried (North Carolina State)
Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh)
Brad Stevens (Butler)
Jim Boeheim (Syracuse)
Dave Archer (National High School Basketball Coaches Association)
As the only representative of the NAIA on the board, Burchard hopes to promote the Columbia College program and the NAIA as a whole.
"To have an NAIA coach is extremely important," Burchard said. "It brings a significant amount of awareness to our program. I'm proud of that."
Burchard has been a vital member of the Cougars athletics department for the past 24 years. He has led the Cougars to the NAIA national men's basketball tournament 15 times in his career.
"He's pioneered the complete turnaround of Cougar athletics," Cindy Fotti, the school's associate director of athletics, said.
This season, Burchard guided his team to a 27-7 record and earned conference coach of the year honors after winning the American Midwest Conference regular season and tournament championships. Burchard was also inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in March.
Although basketball is a large part of his career, Burchard's support for Columbia College athletics is evident in his constant presence on campus. Every day, Burchard watches practices, attends games and keeps his "eyes open" to Cougars athletics.Burchard attributes much of his success to watching his fellow coaches at Columbia College.
Now, as a member of the NABC board, he sees another chance to improve.
"I'm excited to sit around a table and talk about our craft," he said. "I hope it makes me a better coach."