LAWRENCE, Kan., June 13. CATHY Burgess, who spent three years as an assistant and the past two years as head women's swimming coach at the University of Kansas, is resigning her post to take a teaching job in her hometown, KUAC officials announced on Wednesday.
"I'm making a career change," Burgess said. "I'm moving into teaching, and I've accepted a position in my hometown of Hickory, North Carolina at a middle school teaching physical education. KU has been a great place to work. The hardest part of moving on is leaving behind all the great people here, and especially the swimmers and divers. This team is probably the best group I've worked with since I've been at Kansas — they're definitely on their way up, and I can't wait to see their successes in the future."
Kansas has not been "a great place to work" for all swimmers and coaches. The University was one of three Big 12 schools that abolished men's swimming in a simultaneous move.
Burgess, who leaves Kansas with an overall record of 10-9, took the reins of the women's swimming program in 2000-01, and guided the team to a 3-5 overall record and a sixth place finish in the Big 12 that season. In 2001-02, she led the squad to a 7-4 record and a fifth-place conference finish. In addition, the team made great strides in the classroom under Burgess. In the fall of 2001, her squad set a team record with a 3.24 GPA, only to see that record fall in the spring of 2002, when women's swimming claimed the department's highest GPA for the semester at 3.34.
Prior to her stint as head coach, Burgess spent three seasons as an assistant at KU under former coach Gary Kempf. Before arriving in Lawrence, she served assistant coaching stints at Davidson College (1996-97) and the North Carolina Aquatic Club (1994-95).
A four-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection between 1990-1994, Burgess enjoyed a stellar career as a swimmer at the University of North Carolina. She led her teams to four straight ACC titles, and qualified for the 1992 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200 backstroke. She earned her bachelor's degree from North Carolina in 1994, and earned a master's in sports management from the University of Georgia in 1997.
Associate Athletics Director/Senior Women's Administrator Janelle Martin indicated that a national search to replace Burgess would begin immediately.