Every program Mike Burchuk touched succeeded and many of Canada’s greatest female players learned the game from this man.
Burchuk’s life revolved around volleyball, his players, their skills development and game strategy. With the national team, he created international competition situations, pursued fundraising and sponsorship opportunities and found and developed elite players that took Canada through two Olympic cycles.
His coaching career began in 1969 while teaching at Beaumont Junior High and the volleyball team became divisional winners. It continued in Selkirk from 1971- 1979 where he coached junior high, juvenile and high school teams to finalist berths and provincial championships.
In 1979 Burchuk led Team Manitoba to the Canada Winter Games in Brandon and received the Mary Jean England Award as Manitoba Coach of the Year. At the University of Winnipeg (1980-89) Burchuk led the Wesmen women to 6 consecutive national Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union titles. Burchuk was 4 times honoured as the CIAU coach of the year (1981-85, 1987). In 1989, the Manitoba Volleyball Association and Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association developed the Mike Burchuk Award; presented annually to the top female high school player.
Burchuk’s international career began in 1980 as an assistant coach with the junior nationals. He moved to the national senior team, served as an assistant coach from 1982-1988, including the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games team.
Burchuk’s record included a silver (1989), and 3 bronze (1991, 1993 and 1995) at the NORCECA championship, 4 Canada Cup silver medals (1990, 1993-95), 4 World Cup appearances, 4th at the 1991 Pan Am Games (Cuba) and the bronze medal at the 1995 Pan Am Games (Argentina).
In 1996, Burchuk’s national squad qualified for the Olympics and placed 9th in Atlanta.
b. November 18, 1949