Burke is Raptors' first First Team Academic All-American
CAMDEN, N.J. (Nov. 27, 2012) – As a men's soccer team captain, an all-conference player and one of the top student-athletes on campus, Kevin Burke (Sewell, NJ/Clearview Regional) has been setting standards throughout his Rutgers University-Camden career.
Burke raised the bar again today when he accomplished what nobody else in school history had ever achieved.
Burke has been named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America Division III Men's Soccer First Team, making him one of only 11 players nationally to achieve that honor, which is selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). He becomes the only First Team Academic All-America athlete in Rutgers-Camden history.
Burke is no stranger to the Academic All-America program. A senior with a 3.88 GPA as an Accounting major, he was named to the Academic All-America Third Team during the 2011-12 scholastic year, one of only six Rutgers-Camden athletes to achieve that honor.
Only two Scarlet Raptors have ever reached the Academic All-America Second Team, which was accomplished by women's soccer player Heather Greenwald during the 2004-05 scholastic year and by women's cross country and track star Robin England (2010-11). That was the standard before Burke became the first Scarlet Raptor to earn Academic All-America First Team recognition.
"Kevin has worked tirelessly on and off the field in an effort to be the best student, teammate, and captain he could possibly be," said Rutgers-Camden Head Coach Tim Oswald. "As a coach, I couldn't be more proud and honored to have had the opportunity to coach him and see him grow, develop, and mature over these past four years. I believe this award is a fitting culmination and climax to the sacrifices that he made throughout his academic and athletic career at RUC, in order to chase his goal of one day becoming a First Team Academic All-American. Today, that dream became a reality for him. As one door of his life is about to close as a student athlete with us, another will open as he starts his career at Ernst & Young after graduation. I have zero doubts that he will go on to be very successful in all of his future endeavors."
To be nominated for the Academic All-America program, an athlete must have a minimum of a 3.3 GPA on a 4.00 scale, be a starter or a significant reserve, have reached sophomore athletic and academic eligibility at their current institution and be nominated by their sports information director.
In order for players to qualify for the Academic All-America ballot, they first must be selected as a First Team All-District performer. Burke was a Capital One Academic All-District 2 First Team player during both his junior and senior seasons after earning Academic All-District 2 Third Team honors as a sophomore.
District 2, one of the eight voting districts in the CoSIDA All-America program, includes schools from New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.
There have been only 15 Academic All-District 2 First Team performers in Rutgers-Camden history and Burke is one of only five student-athletes to have accomplished that feat twice. The only other soccer player to do so was Rodney Guishard, during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 scholastic years.
Burke also joins England as the only Rutgers-Camden athletes to have been named to three Academic All-District 2 teams, the maximum a player can achieve, since freshmen aren't eligible for the honor.
In addition to being the school's only Academic All-America First Team athlete, Burke is one of only three Rutgers-Camden athletes to be recognized on a pair of Academic All-America teams. During the 2011-12 scholastic year, Tim VanLiew earned Third Team honors for both men's soccer and for men's track. The only other two-time Academic All-American at Rutgers-Camden was track and cross country star Frank Iwanicki, who was named to the Third Team during both the 2008-09 and 2009-10 scholastic years.
Academic achievements have become a way of life for Burke, who was recognized as a NSCAA 2011 College Division Scholar All-East Region Honorable Mention student-athlete. He has been a two-time member of the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Men's Soccer Team (2010 and 2011), and is on the ballot for that honor again this season.
During his sophomore scholastic year, Burke earned New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Academic First Team honors. He was a NJAC Academic Second Team honoree last year. The NJAC academic teams are named at the end of each scholastic year.
An active member of the Rutgers-Camden Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Burke serves as the SAAC Vice Co-Chair this year after serving as the Treasurer during his junior year.
A Dean's List student every semester, Burke is a member of the Rutgers-Camden Honors College and the Accounting Society. He received the Ralph W. Newkirk Jr. Endowed Scholarship (awarded to undergraduate accounting students based on academic merit) and the Rutgers-Camden Academic Excellence Scholarship (for high-achieving undergraduate business students).
Athletically, Burke also is a standout performer, who helped the Scarlet Raptors compile a combined 36-5-5 record the past two seasons. One of the Raptors' starting backs, he helped the team back-to-back NJAC titles and two consecutive berths in the NCAA tournament for the first time ever. Aided by Burke's marking ability, Rutgers-Camden posted 22 shutouts over the last two seasons, has earned national rankings for 21 straight weeks, reached the 2011 NCAA Elite Eight and played to a scoreless tie in the 2012 NCAA Second Round before failing to advance on penalty kicks.
Burke finished his stellar four-year Rutgers-Camden career with 84 games played, tied for seventh on the all-time program list. He is one of only 15 players to appear in 80 or more games in Rutgers-Camden men's soccer history.
Burke started 61 of his 84 career games, including all 45 of his games the last two seasons. He played in 33 shutouts during his Raptor career and also notched his first career point this season, with an assist against Arcadia University on Sept. 9.
Burke played in 18 games as a freshman in 2009, starting 12, before helping the Scarlet Raptors capture the ECAC Metro/Upstate championship during his sophomore year in 2010. That title set the stage for Rutgers-Camden's runs to consecutive NJAC titles and NCAA appearances the past two seasons, which have lifted the Scarlet Raptors into the elite ranks in Division III.
Kevin is the son of Kathleen and Gregory Burke of Sewell.