Longtime Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke died Monday morning, the school announced. He was 68 years old.
The school said Burke died at his home in West Lafayette “after a year-long battle with amyloidosis.” Amyloidosis is a “rare disease that occurs when an abnormal protein builds up in your organs and interferes with their normal function,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
Burke served as Purdue’s athletic director from 1993-2016 and notably hired Joe Tiller as the Boilermakers’ football coach and helped usher the transition from Gene Keady to Matt Painter in men’s basketball. Purdue also won NCAA titles in women’s basketball and women’s golf during Burke’s tenure.
"Morgan left an indelible mark on Purdue Athletics, and thousands of student-athletes benefitted from his faithful leadership," Purdue President Mitch Daniels said. "He was the ultimate competitor, and his passion for the Boilermakers was second to none. He continued to serve the university the last four years, doing everything he could to strengthen our mission. Our deepest condolences to Kate, Joyce, Morgan Jr. and Pat."
Painter, the coach of the Boilermakers’ men’s basketball program since 2005, said on Twitter that he owes Burke “a huge debt of gratitude” for having faith in him to take the reins from Keady, Purdue’s all-time winningest coach.
Saddened to hear about Morgan Burke’s passing. pic.twitter.com/6HvoQikWJz— Purdue’s Matt Painter (@CoachPainter) June 15, 2020
Purdue football coach Jeff Brohm said Burke “will be greatly missed.”
Even after his retirement as athletic director, he would often stop by practice to offer a word of encouragement and show us his support. We are forever grateful for his contributions to our football program, the university, and the community as a whole. He will be greatly missed— Jeff Brohm (@JeffBrohm) June 15, 2020
Burke retired in 2017 and was succeeded by Mike Bobinski.
"Morgan was a great friend and colleague to many of us and left an incredible legacy of tireless and selfless devotion to all things Purdue, but most of all our student-athletes, past and present, Bobinski said. "He cared deeply about them and their success, and he proudly stood for all the right things in the world of intercollegiate athletics."
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