Shawn Burke | Head Coach
Shawn Burke enters his fourth season at the helm of the women’s soccer program after leading the squad to their third straight MAC Tournament in 2016. Burke guided the Bulls to their first ever MAC Championship in 2014 and a MAC semifinal appearance in 2015.
In 2016, the Burke-led Bulls were able to post a 7-8-5 overall record and a 4-4-3 conference mark as they earned a spot in the MAC Tournament for the third straight season, just the second time that has been done in program history. The Bulls fell 1-0 in the MAC Quarterfinals at Central Michigan.
Buffalo was able to place four players on All-MAC squads in 2016 as Julia Benati, Carissima Cutrona and Angel Hart each earned Second Team All-MAC honors while Gurjeena Jandu was named to the All-Freshman team. Inside the classroom, the Bulls had another great season as they saw a program record eight players earn Academic All-MAC honors. They also placed an UB record four players, Andrea Niper, Julia Benati, Carissima Cutrona and Nicole Gerritz, on the MAC Fall Distinguished Scholar Athlete team.
Over his three seasons as head coach, Burke has produced a 34-18-11 career record which is the best record to begin in a career in program history. Also under Burke's guidance, the Bulls have turned into a dominant home team as they own a 24-1-6 record at UB Stadium.
Burke helped lead the Bulls to a 11-7-3 overall record in 2015 as well as a 7-3-1 mark in MAC play while helping UB advance to their second straight MAC semifinals. With a career coaching record of 27-10-6 through two seasons at Buffalo, Burke has the highest winning percentage (.698) through two seasons out of any coach in UB women’s soccer history.
The Bulls placed five players on the All-MAC squad as Jackie Hall and Kassidy Kidd were named first team while Julia Benati and Celina Carrero earned second team and Brianna Shingary earned All-Freshman team honors. UB also had a strong season in the class as the Bulls placed seven players on the Academic All-MAC squad while Julia Benati, Jackie Hall, Kassidy Kidd and Andrea Niper were all named to the MAC Distinguished Scholar Athlete list.
UB was the second most improved team in the country in 2014 in Burke’s first season at the helm, going 16-3-3 after a 6-9-3 record in 2013.
Burke revived a program that won just 11 games over the past two seasons in 2014 as he was awarded the MAC Coach of the Year award and All-Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year after leading his team to a program-best 16-3-3 overall record to go along with a perfect 9-0-2 MAC record, just the third unbeaten MAC regular season in conference history.
Burke made a lasting imprint on the UB women’s soccer program as he led the squad to a regular season MAC Championship, first-ever MAC Tournament Championship and first-ever NCAA appearance last season. The Bulls broke many school records including shutouts in a season (14) and unbeaten streak (14). The defensive-minded Bulls finished the 2014 season with an 11-0-1 home record, breaking the program record for home wins and recording the first unbeaten home mark since 1995.
Burke finished the 2014 campaign tied for the NCAA lead in wins (16) for a first-year head coach and he had the highest winning percentage (.833) out of all first-year head coaches in the country. He helped the Bulls earn a sweep in all MAC major awards following the season as UB won Offensive Player of the Year (Katie Roberts), Defensive Player of the Year (Jackie Hall), Freshman of the Year (Laura Dougall) and Coach of the Year (Burke). The 2014 UB Bulls became the first program in MAC history to sweep all four major awards.
Inheriting basically the same squad from 2013 that won six matches, Burke fine-tuned the Bulls roster to turn them into a nationally recognized program. One of the most noticable changes that Burke made was changing MAC Defensive Player of the Year, Jackie Hall, from midfield to center back. Hall blossomed into one of the premier center backs in the country under Burke’s tutelage and prowess as a defensive oriented coach, becoming the first division I All-American in UB Women’s Soccer history.
Prior to taking over as head coach at Buffalo, Burke served five years as assistant coach. Serving as the team’s liaison to academic services, Burke helped the Bulls reach new heights in the classroom.
Over his five season’s, the UB women’s soccer program was one of the top teams on campus, accumulating over a 3.20 team grade point average in each season. Following the 2011 season, junior defender Shannon Algoe was named to the Capital One Academic All-American second team, becoming the first Bull to do so under Burke’s guidance. Algoe earned a 4.0 GPA and was one of 33 players recognized on the All-American teams.
During his five seasons as an assistant coach at Buffalo, Burke’s defense proved to be one of the best units in the Mid-American Conference, averaging seven shutouts a season over the last three years. Burke’s defense recorded a school record 12 shutouts during the 2011 season, compiling a record of 12-5-4 on the season and advancing to the MAC Tournament semifinals. The successful 2011 season helped the Bulls jump 200 spots in the RPI rankings from the previous season, the biggest jump of any team in the country.
Burke was a standout player at Mercyhurst College from 1998-2002, winning five straight GLIAC Championships. In 2002, Burke was named Great Lakes Conference Defensive Player of the year. He was also a three-time first-team All-Conference and two-time All-Region player selection. In his final year of play at Mercyhurst, Burke helped lead the Lakers to the Division II Final Four and the school’s first and only #1 national ranking.
Burke graduated from Mercyhurst in 2002 with a degree in elementary education and graduated in May of 2013 with his Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University at Buffalo.
He holds a USSF “A” license as well as a US Soccer National Goalkeeping. Burke also holds a National Youth License.
Burke currently resides in Amherst with his wife Taylor.