Honoring Bob Burchard
A new scholarship is named in honor of Columbia College’s athletic director.
Bob Burchard was surprised by the announcement of a scholarship named in his honor Thursday, Oct. 18. A crowd of more than 100 people filled the lobby of Boone County National Bank to celebrate the Columbia College head men’s basketball coach and athletic director" some even touting mock mustaches as an ode to Burchard’s famous “stache."
Burchard seemed genuinely surprised about the creation of the scholarship" especially when Dr. Brouder announced that $111,000 of the $125,000 fundraising goal had already been raised. The funds will go to support student athletes and the Department of Athletics.
“Some people claim athletics is the window or the front door to a college,” Burchard said in his extemporaneous remarks. “I’m living proof that athletics rides the wave of an amazing place.” Burchard went on to say, “This wave has been going for a long while, and a guy like me sits on that wave as long as he can. It’s been one heck of a ride!”
Those in attendance were true fans of Burchard’s tenure at Columbia College and none were unaware that “ride the wave” was the annual theme that Burchard chose for his team in 2009 when the Cougar men’s basketball team “rode the wave” to become national runner-up at the NAIA championship.
Five contributors made leadership gifts totaling $111,000 to endow the Bob Burchard Celebration of Excellence scholarship. Donors include: Gene Koepke, Greg Johnston, Web Bixby; Skip and Daisy Grossnickle and the Insurance Group, Kathi and L’Mont Betz, and Boone County National Bank.
Burchard begins his 25th year as Columbia College head men’s basketball coach and athletic director. He was inducted into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Hall of Fame in March 2012. The Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed by the NAIA. Inductees must be persons of outstanding quality, high moral character, fine leadership ability and be held in high esteem by colleagues, coaches and athletes. Burchard has been the face of Cougar athletics and especially men's basketball for the past 24 years. Compiling a record of 597-225 (.726), he has the most wins in program history and has led the Cougars to 16 NAIA National appearances. Under his guidance, the Cougars have averaged nearly 25 victories per season, and 84 student-athletes have earned academic all-conference honors; 18 of which have received All-American athletic honors. Burchard has been named American Midwest Conference (AMC) Coach of the Year seven times.