Eric Peterson, Published March 25 2014
Another milestone ahead for Concordia coach Burgau
“I want 700 not because it’s 700, but it is the next game we play,” Burgau said.
Burgau, in his 36th season as Cobbers head coach, has 699 career wins.
Concordia (6-5) is slated to host Minnesota-Morris at 2:30 p.m. today at the Jake Christiansen Athletic Complex.
“I am really proud of the longevity of being able to coach in one spot,” said Burgau, who also coached four seasons at North Dakota State. “A lot of that is how I was taught by a lot of good coaches before me.”
With another victory, Burgau becomes the third college coach to have spent the majority of his career in Minnesota to reach 700 wins.
Minnesota head coach John Anderson (1,124 wins entering this year) and retired Minnesota State-Mankato head coach Dean Bowyer (1,053 wins) have already reached the milestone.
“At the Division III level, if you have 700 wins, it means you’ve touched a lot of lives, and that’s what Bucky has done,” said Concordia assistant coach Chris Coste.
Coste played for Burgau from 1993-95 and said that Burgau’s approach has remained consistent through the years.
“He’s very similar,” Coste said, comparing the current Burgau to the one he played for in the 1990s. “If anything, he may be a little more fiery or competitive than he used to be.”
Burgau has 403 wins in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. He’s the only coach in league history to reach 400 MIAC wins.
“When I first started coaching, I was hoping to get No. 1,” said Burgau, who has a 699-608-6 career record.
Burgau credited former Concordia coaches like Sonny Gulsvig (Burgau’s late father-in-law), Al Rice, Jim Christopherson, Finn Grinaker and Bob Nick for helping him become a successful coach.
“They taught me the right way how to coach,” Burgau said.
This is Burgau’s final season as head coach of the baseball team. Coste will be the Cobbers head coach next season. Burgau will be an assistant.
Burgau said this spring hasn’t felt any different, even though it is his last at head coach.
“I told the kids that I am juiced for this team and the next game as I was for game No. 1,” Burgau said.
Burgau has been named MIAC coach of the year four times (1985, 1992, 2004 and 2020) and has led the Cobbers to two league titles (1985 and 1993).
Burgau is on the verge of becoming the 25th coach in Division III history to reach 700 victories.
When asked about the significance of that win total, Burgau responded:
“Thirty-six years is a pretty big number, too,” Burgau said with a laugh.
“It means you have stayed around a long time and done some amazing things,” Coste added.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.
Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com