Cougar Basketball Head Coach/Director of Athletics
Since his arrival at Columbia College, Bob Burchard has turned the Cougar basketball program into a perennial powerhouse in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Burchard has compiled a 632-226 (.737) record in 24 seasons at the helm, giving him the most in wins in program history. The Cougars have averaged almost 25 victories per season under his guidance. This transition took many by surprise because in the 14 seasons prior to Burchard's arrival, the Cougars compiled a record of just 98-224 (.304).
Burchard hasn't just engineered the turnaround of Cougar basketball but continues to build the program on two premises. First, he will only recruit student-athletes who can benefit from the academic programs offered at Columbia College. And, second, he uses intercollegiate basketball as a tool to enhance those educational experiences. In addition, Burchard is always looking for an athlete who has proved himself on the court and has a successful basketball background. The formula works. There have been 75 student-athletes that have earned academic all-conference honors since Burchard's first season and 19 that have received All-American athletic honors.
The Cougars have advanced to the NAIA Men's National Basketball Championship 17 times in his tenure, including 16 of the past 19 seasons. Burchard has been named the American Midwest Conference (AMC) Coach of the Year eight times, most recently last season when he led the Cougars to a perfect 16-0 mark in league play. Among all active coaches in the NAIA, he ranks 5th in wins with 632.
Burchard guided Columbia to the most successful season in program history in 2012-13. The Cougars posted their first ever undefeated regular season and won a school record 35 games, eclipsing the previous mark of 32 set in 2003-04. Columbia won its second straight AMC regular season and tournament championship, while also earning the program's first ever No. 1 national ranking. The Cougars finished the year 35-1, their fifth 30-win season under Burchard's direction, and advanced to the NAIA tournament quarterfinals. Burchard won his 600th career game at Columbia back on November 14th, 2012 vs. Central Methodist (Mo.) University.
In the spring of 2012 while bringing his team to the NAIA National Championships, Burchard was honored by being inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame as a coach, an honor that was long overdue for his service to the NAIA, Columbia College and the game of basketball.
In 2009, after winning the AMC Tournament championship, the Cougars earned an automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament. Columbia advanced deeper into the tournament then they ever had before, making it all the way to the championship game and finishing the year with a record of 30-8.
During the NCAA Final Four in 2010, Burchard received one of the National Basketball Coaches Association's (NABC) highest awards, the Guardians of the Game Leadership Pillar Award. Guardians of the Game is a national awareness and education program of the NABC. The goal of the program is to focus attention on the positive aspects of basketball and the role coaches play in the lives of student-athletes, in addition to the contributions coaches make to their communities. The Guardians of the Game program emphasizes the four core values of advocacy, leadership, service and education.
In 2000, Burchard was a "court coach" for the USA Basketball squad in Colorado, serving as the NAIA representative of the coaching staff that was led by Syracuse men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim. Burchard helped guide a squad which consisted of collegiate All-Americans, including Zach Randolph, Carlos Boozer, Nick Collison, Kirk Hinrich, Jason Richardson and Tayshaun Prince. In 2005, Burchard was appointed the NAIA representative for USA Basketball's Collegiate Committee (see photos). The Committee is responsible for recommendations to the Board concerning USA Basketball's men's collegiate events, including the selection of players and coaches. He served the NAIA as a "court coach" in the summer of 2008 when he travelled to Washington, D.C. for the USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team Trials. Burchard served on the Collegiate Committee, which was responsible for making recommendations to the board concerning the 12 roster spots on the U18 National Team.
In the summer of 2008, Burchard was also selected as one of the inductees into the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association (MBCA) Hall of Fame. The induction, held in connection with the 2008 Missouri All-Star Games, took place at the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mo.
"Bob Burchard gets it. He is a teacher, mentor, coach and AD. In each of those roles he is student focused," states Columbia College President Dr. Gerald Brouder. "He wins with humility and loses with dignity. Bob is a polished ambassador of Columbia College."
Burchard came to Columbia College after spending seven seasons (1981-88) at Missouri Western State College as an assistant coach. He spent the first season under Gary Filbert, former executive director of the Show-Me State Games, and the remainder of his tenure with the Griffons under Skip Shear. Burchard was responsible for the majority of Missouri Western¹s recruiting. Two teams advanced to the NAIA Basketball National Championship while he was with the Griffons. Burchard got his introduction to coaching basketball in 1980, when he coached the boys and girls teams at Jameson (Mo.) High School (19-8). After receiving his undergraduate degree from Catawba College in 1979, Burchard earned a master's degree in education from East Carolina University in 1980. A native of McLean, Va., Burchard graduated from McLean High in 1975.
Burchard also serves as Columbia College's athletic director and has claimed AD of the Year honors for the AMC five times in his tenure. He oversees the management of the school's five sports programs. He was one of the key figures in bringing the NAIA Women's National Fastpitch Softball Championship to Columbia, where it was held four times, and the NAIA Women's National Volleyball Tournament, held in 2006 and 2007.
In May 1996, Burchard earned the Columbia Kiwanis Club's Don Faurot Sportsperson of the Year Award. The award was named after former University of Missouri football coach, athletic director and longtime Columbia resident Don Faurot. In addition, February 2004, he was recognized as a recipient of the Kent Heitholt Memorial Award which is presented to an individual who is committed to the advancement of women in athletics. Burchard sees himself as a shepherd who develops direction for the athletic department at Columbia College, keeping the staff focused on their target and always keeps in mind that he is a teacher, not just a coach.
Bob resides in Columbia with his wife Faye, the Dean of Student Affairs at Columbia College. They have two children, Jennifer and Bret.