Former Purdue Athletic Director Morgan Burke Passes Away

Brett Douglas

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- On Monday morning, former Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke passed away at the age of 68. 

In a statement by Purdue Athletics, Burke died at his home after a year-long battle with amyloidosis, which is a rare disease that occurs when an abnormal protein builds up in organs and interferes with their normal function.

Burke was at the helm of the Purdue athletic department from 1993-2017. He also was a Purdue graduate, earning a degree in industrial management, while also captaining the Boilermaker swim team in 1973.

In 2017, when he retired, he said, “Few people are afforded the opportunity to serve their alma mater in a capacity such as I have for more than two decades and I look forward to continue doing so as we help our student-athletes in their quest to win championships — in the classroom, in competition and in life.” 

During Burke's tenure as the Purdue athletic director for 23 years, he worked diligently on improving athletics facilities, the success of the teams and creating an environment that cultivated learning in the classroom especially. 

Burke spearheaded the improvements of many athletics facilities at Purdue, including renovations of Mackey Arena and Ross-Ade Stadium and the rebuilds of the golf, swimming and diving and tennis facilities. In 2001, the Morgan J. Burke Aquatics Center, opened and still to this day holds his namesake. 

While Burke was athletic director, the Purdue women's basketball and golf teams both won NCAA National Championships in 1999 and 2010 respectively. The Purdue men's basketball team won three straight Big Ten titles from 1994-96 and the football team won 10 bowl games in 12 years. His legacy continues with the success of men's basketball coach Matt Painter and volleyball coach Dave Shondell, whom he hired. 

Burke is survived by his wife, Kate, and his children Joyce, Morgan Jr. and Patrick. 

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