Burkhamer Introduced As New UWF Men's Basketball Coach
The University of West Florida Wednesday welcomed its newest coaching addition.
Jeff Burkhamer is the fourth head coach in the program’s 31-year history. He brings 31 years’ coaching experience to Pensacola, including 373 victories at the junior college and Division II levels.
But UWF Athletic Director Dave Scott says in hiring Burkhamer last week, they looked beyond wins and losses.
“He’s graduated players, he’s brought in good players with good character, like we’ve done here at the University of West Florida,” said Scott. “For us, it’s about picking the right person that fits our culture and fits who we’re about. I think we’ve done that.”
Burkhamer comes to UWF from Lander University in Greenwood, South Carolina, which plays in the Peach Belt Conference. The Bearcats were 19-8 last season. Besides the warm welcome and accolades given the new coach, UWF President Judy Bense also threw down the first gauntlet.
“Right now, we’ve got women’s basketball to a point where people want to go see those games, and I see a lot of those people leave after those games,” Bense said. “You, coach are going to make them stay, because they’re going to see another good team.”
Then it was time to hear from the man of the hour. Jeff Burkhamer took the podium and answered his own question.
“So why West Florida? I said, ‘Why not?’” said Burkhamer. “Look at the success they’ve had in all their sports. Look at the past and the tradition here, there’s a winning tradition. And we want to be one of those teams.”
Burkhamer met with the returning Argo basketball players on Tuesday, and stressed expectations, accountability and responsibility. As far as the style of basketball to be played, that will vary depending on talent. But the coach said there will be one constant.
“We will play with great enthusiasm, we will compete very hard, and we will play together,” Burkhamer said. “And I think if you do those thinks, you get a chance to win, you get a chance to build a program.”
Jeff Burkhamer succeeds Bob Stennett, who retired at the end of last season after six years. The Argos were 7-21, including a 3-19 mark in the Gulf South Conference.