Keith Burke is entering his first season as Head Coach of the men's and women's cross country programs and second as Head Coach of the men's and women's track and field programs. Burke brings a large amount of experience to both programs.
Burke comes to Illinois Tech by way of Malcolm X College, where he served in the same role. 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 coached at Waubonsee Community College and one of his old athletic stops, Prairie State College. At Waubonsee, he was an assistant coach before being promoted to head coach of both the men’s and women’s program in fall of 2014, increasing the size of the program by 25 percent through his recruiting efforts. In his time as head coach at Waubonsee, four men and two women made it to the NJCAA Division I Championship meet. The Chiefs’ women’s team would place second at the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) meet in 2014, with the men taking third. Two student-athletes from each team earned all-conference honors.
Burke served as an assistant at Prairie State for two years, developing new workout programs and motivational strategies to enhance the student-athlete experience. Prairie State had its most successful season in school history while Burke was on staff, placing 26th in the nation in the Fall of 2011.During this season the men’s team would place second at the Region IV meet and had five runners move on to compete in the NJCAA Division I championship. The following season the Pioneers were third in the Region IV standings. While at PSC, four men and one women secured spots on the All-Region IV and All-ISCC teams.
Burke also had success as an athlete with a decorated career at Prairie State. During his sophomore season, he and teammate Devin Horner became the first two Pioneers to participate in the NJCAA Division I Championship. He was a Team Captain before moving on to Aurora University to finish his degree, where he was named All-Conference for Cross Country in 2010 and set the school record in the 10k in the Spring of 2011. He also served as a Volunteer Assistant under Troy Kerber at Aurora Central Catholic during his senior season at AU.
Prior to Aurora, he set the 8k school record at Prairie State, which stood until one of his student-athletes set a new mark while Burke was an Assistant coach. Following his collegiate career, Burke tried out for the All-Army Sports Cross Country team.
During the 2008-09 school year, and from May 2011- October 2012, Burke was a paraprofessional in School District 802. He worked with students who had behavioral and/or emotional issues. He was an operations manager with Andy Frain Services from November 2012- June 2014
Burke also serves as U.S. Army Reserve 1st Lt. and is commander for the 347th Combat Support Detached Regiment at Fort Sheridan, Illinois. His duties included overseeing more than 25 soldiers, maintaining and storing high valued equipment, staffing, event coordination, instruction and personnel guidance. He graduated from Aurora in 2011 with a B.A. in Criminal Justice and minor in Physical Education/Coaching. Burke has finished his MBA at Aurora with an emphasis in Operations Management. Burke also holds a USATF Level 1 Certification.