Bob Burchard, head men’s basketball coach and athletic director at Columbia College, was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame on Tuesday. His Cougars are preparing for a run at the national championship for the the 16th time in his tenure and 15 of the last 18 seasons.
AUDIO Burchard on his love of coaching in the NAIA and working in the shadows of Mizzou (1:00)
Burchard, in his 24th season, is just four wins away from 600 career wins. Burchard has been named conference coach of the year seven times, most recently last season when the Cougars closed American Midwest Conference play in a tie for first with a 12-2 record. Among all active coaches in the NAIA coming into this season, Burchard stood 11th in most wins with 570 and third with highest winning percentage at 72 percent.
His bio on Columbia’s athletic website talks of how Burchard turned the Cougar basketball program into a perennial powerhouse in the NAIA. The Cougars have averaged almost 25 victories per season under his leadership. Prior to Burchard, the Cougars went 98-224 (.304) in the previous 14 seasons.
The Cougars begin their NAIA title run Wednesday night facing Montana State-Northern at 8:45