Big Ten

Longtime Purdue AD Morgan Burke announces July 2017 retirement


Longtime Purdue AD Morgan Burke announces July 2017 retirement

Morgan Burke’s lengthy tenure as the athletics director at Purdue is coming to a close.

Burke announced Thursday that he will retire from his post, effective July 2017.

“Few people are afforded the opportunity to serve their alma mater in a capacity such as I have for more than two decades," Burke said in the announcement, "and I look forward to continue doing so as we help our student-athletes in their quest to win championships — in the classroom, in competition and in life.”

Burke, who took over as Purdue's AD in 1993, is the fourth-longest tenured athletics director in the FBS, spending 22 years running the athletics department in West Lafayette. The only ADs who have served longer at the same institution are Utah’s Chris Hill, Florida’s Jeremy Foley and Wake Forest’s Ron Wellman, with Foley and Wellman starting not even a full year before Burke.

“For longer than any athletic director in Purdue history, Morgan has contributed to Purdue’s reputation as a highly competitive program marked by integrity and fiscal soundness,” university president Mitch Daniels said in the announcement. “Over the last 23 years he has worked to create an environment that fosters both academic and athletic success among our student-athletes. For the first of many times to come, we thank him for his years of service to the university and look forward to working with him over the next year and a half to facilitate a successful transition.”

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Burke hired longtime football coach Joe Tiller, who took the Boilermaker football program to new heights. Tiller led the Boilers to bowl appearances in 10 of his 12 seasons, including a Rose Bowl appearance to cap the 2000 campaign in which Purdue won the Big Ten championship.

Burke's tenure also overlapped with that of legendary basketball coach Gene Keady, who in 25 years won six Big Ten championships and took the Boilers to 17 NCAA tournaments, reaching five Sweet Sixteens and a pair of Elite Eights. Burke hired current head basketball coach Matt Painter. Currently in his 11th season as head coach, Painter has won a pair of Big Ten championships and led the Boilers to two Sweet Sixteens.

Two non-revenue sports have also brought home national championships under Burke's watch: the women's basketball team in 1999 and the women's golf team in 2010.

Purdue announced that chairman of the board of trustees and former football player Michael Berghoff will lead the university's search for a new athletics director.

“Because of the complexity of the job and Morgan’s historic record in Purdue athletics, finding a successor will be no small task,” Berghoff said in the announcement.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal


Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.