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UC Becky Burke (copy)

University of Charleston women’s basketball coach Becky Burke (center) has been hired as the new coach at Division I USC Upstate.

Becky Burke’s two very successful seasons as the University of Charleston women’s basketball coach have led to a new Division I head coaching job.

Burke has been announced as the new coach at the University of South Carolina Upstate, a Big South school in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Burke steps in for Tammy George, the program’s career leader with 193 wins who resigned in May.

“I felt like USC Upstate was a place where we could win before I even came on my campus visit,” Burke said in a release from the university, “and after visiting, that was confirmed for me. It comes down to that simply. This is a place where we can recruit because of the campus support and resources, and I think the conference is winnable.

“At the end of the day you want to bring in a staff that plays to win championships, and I think everything is in place to do just that.”

Burke, a former women’s basketball standout at Louisville, did plenty of winning in her two seasons with the Golden Eagles. In her first season, she engineered a 12-win improvement from the previous campaign. Her 2018-19 team went 25-7, made the Mountain East Conference tournament championship game and qualified for the NCAA Division II tournament for the first time since 2014.

In her second season, the Golden Eagles went 23-7 and reached the MEC tournament semifinals. During those two seasons, she coached a pair of All-MEC first-team selections. Raziyah Farrington was a first-teamer in her lone season of 2018-19, while Anna Hayton was a two-time first-team pick.

“From my first phone call with her, I felt her tremendous energy, contagious enthusiasm, personal charisma and commitment to excellence in all facets of running a collegiate basketball program,” USC Upstate Athletic Director Daniel Feig said.

UC Athletic Director Bren Stevens made sure to offer a public farewell to her women’s basketball coach, congratulating her on her new job and thanking her for the impact she made in two seasons.

“Your hard work has enabled our institution to regain prominence in the MEC and Atlantic region,” Stevens tweeted out. “Upstate is getting a true talent!”

Stevens said Wednesday via text that UC will conduct a national search and already has received a number of resumes and phone calls. She is confident that, with the program’s facilities, funding and recent success, Charleston will find an exceptional candidate.

Contact Derek Redd at 304-348-1712 or derek.redd@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.