FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
CARBONDALE, Ill. – The SIU baseball team has added Joe Burke to the coaching staff as a volunteer assistant for the 2012 season. The former Yankees draft pick will coach the Saluki catchers and also assist with hitters.
Burke joins the Salukis after completing a seven-year minor league playing career in 2011. He was a catcher at St. John’s University where he graduated with a degree in sports management. As a senior, he was voted team MVP and led the Red Storm to a Big East title and a spot in the NCAA Regional finals.
“It is an honor to start my coaching career at Southern Illinois University,” Burke said. “With such a great tradition in baseball and many great players and coaches coming out of this program, I feel this is a perfect fit. I want to thank Ken Henderson for this opportunity, and I look forward to working with a great coaching staff. I’m excited to join the Saluki family and have an impact on a successful upcoming spring season.”
In addition to his playing experience, Burke has been the head instructor at St. John’s Head Coach Ed Blankmeyer’s baseball camps, where he has worked since 2005. He is also the director of operations and a professional hitting instructor at Central Jersey Sports.
“We are very fortunate to be able to add a person with Joe’s background to our coaching staff,” Henderson said. “We held off on hiring last summer and fall, trying to find the right person, someone who could do a great job with our catchers and share our ideas for the future of Saluki baseball. We believe Joe is that guy, as he has high energy, a tremendous passion for the game and a proven track record of success. We are excited for him to get started with us this spring.”
Burke was drafted as a catcher in the 18th round by the Yankees in 2005 and helped the Staten Island Yankees to a New York-Penn League title that summer. He advanced as high as advanced single-A where he hit .293 for the Tampa Yankees.