Bourke leaves ISU for job with Iowa Games

Jeremy Gustafson

ISU cross country head coach Kevin Bourke stepped down on Tuesday and will accept a new position as the director of sports and operations for the Iowa Games.

Bourke has been the men’s cross country coach for the past five seasons and has served 17 seasons as an assistant for the ISU men’s track and field coach.

“It’s a tough decision to make, going from coach to administration,” Bourke said. “Although it is a change I’ve looked at for a couple of years, it is a difficult thing to do.”

Jim Hallihan, executive director of the Iowa Games, said that there were close to 60 applicants for the job.

“What really attracted [Bourke] to me, and I think set him apart, is the first three years of the Iowa Games, Kevin was sports director for the Iowa Games,” Hallihan said.

Bourke served as sports director from 1987-89. The position is currently held by Steve Jordison, who has served since 1993. Bourke will take over on Dec. 1.

“I have known Kevin for 17 years. He is a hard worker, organized and very familiar with ISU and coaches around the state,” Hallihan said.

At Iowa State, Bourke has coached 31 All-Americans and 22 Drake Relays champions.

“I enjoyed my 17 years at Iowa State,” Bourke said.

“But it’s an opportunity to stay in Ames and move into the area of sports management and operations that I have wanted to do for years,” he said. “The Iowa Games is an outstanding organization and I’m excited about working with Jim Hallihan and the Iowa Games staff.”

Among the 31 conference champions that Bourke has coached are five-time NCAA champion Jonah Koech. Koech is also the NCAA indoor 5,000-meter record holder.

Bourke also coached Joseph Chepsiror, the first 800-meter runner in Big Eight history to win the event four straight years.

“One of the main things I’ve learned [as sports and operations director and as a coach] is that you do a lot of things hands on,” Bourke said.

Bourke will finish this season as ISU men’s cross country coach. Next up for the Cyclones is the Big 12 Conference meet in Norman, Okla.

“I met with my team [Monday], and we’re pretty fired up going to the Big 12 meet down in Oklahoma,” Bourke said.

Bourke’s replacement as men’s cross country head coach has not yet been determined.