Friends and basketball coaching colleagues on Tuesday paid tribute to the late Ken Burmeister, a fiery head coach who led programs at UTSA, Trinity and the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio.
The passing of Burmeister, 72, was reported first in a tweet from former UIW assistant coach John Smith.
Burmeister, who won 311 games in a 21-year head coaching career, is best known for leading the UTSA Roadrunners to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1988.
He posted two 20-win seasons in four years with the Roadrunners through 1990.
Most recently, Burmeister worked a dozen seasons at UIW.
Hired by former UIW president Dr. Louis Agnese in 2006, Burmeister posted three 20-win seasons with the Cardinals.
In 2013-14, UIW opened a four-year transition into the NCAA Division I Southland Conference.
Under Burmeister, the Cardinals posted road eye-opening victories at St. John’s and at Nebraska in their transition.
He was fired after a 7-21 season in 2017-18.
His combined record has been calculated at 311-281 based on an online examination of his tenure at UTSA, Loyola-Chicago, Trinity and UIW.
Rest In Heaven Coach Burmeister 🕊. San Antonio, and ALL of college basketball family and friends has lost a pillar. My boss who believed in me and changed THOUSANDS of lives from Iowa to Arizona to Chicago to Texas- there will never be another beautiful soul like Coach Ken 💔🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/A4qTaOG8BJ
— Coach John A. Smith (@CoachJohnASmith) May 19, 2020
Burmeister, a graduate of St. Mary’s, first made a name for himself as an assistant on Lute Olson’s staffs at Iowa and Arizona.
So sorry to about the passing of Ken Burmeister, one of college basketball’s best characters. Excellent head coach & Hall of Fame recruiter for Lute Olson, @IowaHoops & @APlayersProgram, also. RIP, Kenny B. pic.twitter.com/pYN9aV5LFp
— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) May 19, 2020
Burmeister’s tenure at UIW was highlighted by upset victories on the road at Princeton and Nebraska in 2014-15 and at St. John’s in 2015-16.
Guard Denzel Livingston led the Cardinals’ high-powered offensive attack and later earned an invitation to the Houston Rockets’ training camp.
R.I.P Coach Burm. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to continue my basketball career. I’m truly glad we made some good history together 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 Coach in peace ❤️ pic.twitter.com/x2cixIwHCA
— Denzel Livingston (@denzel_trey10) May 19, 2020
Burmeister is survived by his wife, Brenda, and two children, Amanda and Sam. A student-athlete at UIW, Sam Burmeister played in 100 games and made 56 starts for his father between 2013 and 2018.
Year by Year
1986-1987 UTSA, 13-15
1987-1988 UTSA, 22-9 NCAA tournament
1988-1989 UTSA, 15-13
1989-1990 UTSA, 22-7
1994-1995 Loyola (Chicago), 5-22
1995-1996 Loyola (Chicago), 8-19
1996-1997 Loyola (Chicago), 12-15
1997-1998 Loyola (Chicago), 15-15
1998-1999 Trinity University, 16-9
x2006-2007 UIW, 1-28 (18-11)
2007-2008 UIW, 17-11
2008-2009 UIW, 23-7
2009-2010 UIW, 23-7
2010-2011 UIW, 16-10
2011-2012 UIW, 16-11
x2012-2013 UIW, 12-16 (14-14)
2013-2014 UIW, 21-6
2014-2015 UIW, 18-11
2015-16 UIW, 17-12
2016-17 UIW, 12-17
2017-18 UIW, 7-21
Note – Burmeister coached Division III Trinity in 1998-99. Incarnate Word played in Division II from his arrival in 2006 through the 2012-13 season. Burmeister led UIW into a four-year Division I transition starting in 2013.
x – Indicates record adjustments because of NCAA violations in both 2006-07 and 2012-13. Actual records are in parentheses.