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June 1, 2011

By Wes Todd
Assistant Media Relations Director

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina assistant men’s golf coach Michael Burcin will be the new men’s golf head coach at the University of Wisconsin, it was announced Wednesday by Wisconsin athletics director Barry Alvarez.

It will be Burcin’s first head coaching position after serving as an assistant on the South Carolina staff for the last seven years. Burcin takes over from Jim Schuman, who stepped down in April after eight years as the Badgers’ head coach.

“My whole family and I are really excited about going to Madison and the opportunity that presents itself at Wisconsin,” Burcin said. “It is certainly difficult to leave here; we love the city of Columbia. In a perfect world, we would want to stay here for sure. I love the people and our players. Working for Bill McDonald has been an unbelievable experience, and I can’t say enough about what Eric Hyman has done getting this athletic department to where it is today. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about Carolina athletics. We’re going to miss it. It’s an exciting professional opportunity, but personally it will be a tough move for us.”

Burcin began in the fall of 2004 as a volunteer assistant under then-head coach Puggy Blackmon and was made a full-time assistant in the spring of 2005. Upon the arrival of McDonald, who was named associate head coach in 2006, Burcin assumed the role of director of golf operations. When McDonald was elevated to the head coach of the men’s program, Burcin became the team’s assistant coach. The golf program was restructured at the beginning of the 2007-08 season, giving Burcin assistant coaching duties with both the men’s and women’s teams over the next three seasons; he returned as full-time men’s assistant coach for the 2010-11 season.

He was named the 2010 recipient of the Jan Strickland Assistant Coach of the Year Award, presented annually to the nation’s top assistant men’s golf coach by the Golf Coaches Association of America. In his time at Carolina, he helped the Gamecock men to three NCAA Championship appearances and the team title at the 2007 NCAA West Regional. The men’s team won a school-record four tournament titles during the 2008-09 season and captured at least a share of nine tournament titles during his tenure.

“Mike has done an outstanding job for the University of South Carolina men’s golf program the past seven years, and I know that he will do well at the University of Wisconsin as a head coach,” McDonald said. “I am very happy for him and Michelle and their new baby, Josie. Mike was a tremendous help to me transitioning into my position five years ago, and his desire to recruit tirelessly has benefitted our program immeasurably. Mike’s sincere interest in our players’ lives concerning their overall development has been a great asset to us as well. Mike has left a very positive and lasting impression on our golf program, and everyone from current and former players to incoming recruits and parents are all very appreciative of his efforts. Mike has been a pleasure to work with the past five years, and I will always be thankful for his friendship. I think my two sons said it best last night: `We are going to miss Big Mike!'”

Burcin will help coach the U.S. Palmer Cup team next week and assume his duties as Wisconsin later this month.