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May 12, 2008

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina assistant golf coach Michael Burcin has been named a finalist for the 2008 Jan Strickland Assistant Coach of the year Award, the Golf Coaches Association of America announced today. After interviews with the small group of finalists, the winner will be announced on Tue., May 27, prior to the NCAA Championship.

“Mike has been a tremendous help to me in so many areas since my arrival almost two years ago,” South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. “He has also stepped into the role of shared assistant and done an outstanding job for the women’s team as well. Day in and day out, Mike brings organization and passion to Carolina Golf. His ability to evaluate talent and character on a timely basis has made our recruiting efforts much more efficient. In my opinion, Mike will make an excellent head coach one day. We are very fortunate and blessed at South Carolina to have Mike Burcin represent our golf programs.”

Burcin is in his fourth season at South Carolina, his first serving as the assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s teams. He joined the staff as a volunteer assistant for the men’s team in Fall 2004 and was made a full-time assistant in Spring 2005. Burcin was named director of golf operations for the 2006-07 season before returning to his assistant coach role this season.

This season, Burcin’s primary focus has been implementing a recruiting program conducive to winning championships. That focus has paid off immediately. On the women’s side, the Gamecocks signed the top two finishers at the 2007 South Carolina State High School Tournament and the 2006 Georgia State Player of the Year. The men also secured the local elite players, signing a 2007 AJGA Rolex All-American out of Georgia, a 2007 National High School Golf Coaches Association All-America selection and the 2007 South Carolina State Junior Championship winner.

Burcin supervises the Gamecocks’ academic progress and monitors the strength and conditioning programs for both the men’s and women’s teams. Additionally, he continues to develop The Players Club, which is made up of former men’s and women’s golf letterwinners.

The Strickland Assistant Coach of the Year Award is given to the NCAA Division I, II, III or NAIA assistant men’s golf coach that, among other things, has excelled in working with his/her student-athletes both on the course and in the classroom. Along with the award, the recipient is allowed the opportunity to further his/her professional development by being a guest of TaylorMade-adidas Golf at the PGA Teaching and Coaching Summit as well as earning an invitation to the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Kingdom in Carlsbad, Calif.