Burchard's boys come homeWe're living in historic times: never before has a men's Cougar basketball team advanced to the title game.
The 2008-09 NAIA Division I men's basketball runner-up Cougars returned to the Southwell Complex on a Tuesday afternoon in April to a standing ovation of students, faculty and staff in front of numerous camera crews and reporters. These are historic times: never before has a men's Cougar basketball team advanced to the title game. It was very hard to ignore the folding table in the middle of the court with the four gleaming awards:
- The towering 2008-09 AMC Post-season Tournament Championship Trophy, with the game net casually slung over it
- The NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship Runner-up Award
- The Dr. James Naismith-Emil S. Liston Sportsmanship Award, given to the team displaying the most sportsmanship during national tournament play
- The Charles A. Krigel Award, also for sportsmanship, presented to the coach of the squad earning the Naismith-Liston award
"What a heart-pounding, fun-filled ride!" Brouder said, praising the Cougarsí sportsmanship, academic performance and for being "court-savvy athletes and just plain shot tacticians."
"The star of the team is the team," Burchard said, emphasizing the Cougars' blue-and-white, alternating squad approach to games, a wave his boys rode to the Kansas City finals. In the end, he said, all that really mattered was the team's "superb work ethic, who we are, how we treat each other and how we treat others. Let everything else play itself out."
Burchard then leaped atop the scoring table to surf one last time.