Ken Burmeister, former DePaul men’s basketball assistant coach, dies at 72


Courtesy of My San Antonio

Ken Burmeister died on Tuesday after a battle with cancer. He was 72.

Former DePaul men’s basketball assistant coach Ken Burmeister died on Tuesday. He was 72.

Loyola University said that Burmeister died following a fight with cancer. 

Burmeister began his coaching career at University of Texas at Arlington, where he was an assistant coach from 1976-79. After the 1978-79 season, Burmeister took the same job at Iowa University, where he spent the next four seasons of his career. During those four years, Burmeister helped lead the Hawkeyes to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 1980 Final Four and the 1983 Sweet 16.

Burmeister, a native of Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, then became an assistant coach at Arizona University from 1983-86, guiding the Wildcats to two NCAA Tournament appearances in 1985 and 1986.

Prior to the 1986-87 season, Burmeister finally became a head coach at University of Texas at San Antonio. During those four years, Burmeister won 72 games and guided the Roadrunners to an NCAA Tournament in 1988, where they lost to Illinois in the first round.

In 1990, Burmeister joined Joey Meyer’s staff at DePaul, helping lead the Blue Demons to two straight NCAA Tournament appearances in 1991 and 1992 — with the team losing in the first round both years. In the following two years, however, DePaul had a 32-27 overall record and failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament both years. 

After the 1993-94 season, Burmeister became the head coach at Loyola, where he went 40-71 in four seasons. Meyer, on the other hand, lasted three more years at DePaul before he was fired after the 1996-97 season. 

The Ramblers improved their record each season during Burmeister’s tenure, but he was fired after a 15-15 season in 1997-98. Burmeister was the head coach at Loyola when they moved to Gentile Arena in November 1996, his third season in charge of the Ramblers.

Following his final season at Loyola, Burmeister coached one season at Division III Trinity University. After that one season, Burmeister later became the head coach at Incarnate Word for 12 seasons through 2018. He recorded a 202-138 overall record with the program, who moved from Division II to Division I in 2013. 

Throughout his head coaching career, Burmeister posted a 311-280 record at four different schools.