New UWS baseball coach unfazed by ‘interim’ tagCOLLEGE BASEBALL: Nick Bursik doesn’t care what his official title is at Wisconsin-Superior. He’s simply happy to be a college baseball coach.
By: Louie St. George III, Associated Press
Nick Bursik doesn’t care what his official title is at Wisconsin-Superior. He’s simply happy to be a college baseball coach.
Bursik was named the Yellowjackets’ interim coach last week as UWS searches for Eddy Morgan’s successor, but the “interim” tag won’t change Bursik’s approach.
“I don’t really look at it any different,” he said Thursday. “I’m gonna plan to be here for the next 30 years. The interim title means nothing to me.”
Morgan left UWS for the head coaching position at Concordia University (Wis.) in early June, and with more than seven months remaining before the first game of the 2014 season, naming a temporary replacement seemed a curious decision. But UWS athletic director Steve Nelson didn’t want to waste any more precious recruiting time with a leaderless program.
Bursik, a 2012 UWS graduate and a four-year pitcher for the Yellowjackets before joining the coaching staff as an assistant last spring, was the logical choice to take over. He’s been the program’s point of contact since Morgan departed.
“We wanted to keep good continuity with the kids we’ve been recruiting,” Nelson said. “Nick has that relationship with the kids and it makes it more comfortable for everybody coming in.”
Bursik will coach the Yellowjackets next spring, and Nelson expects to name Morgan’s permanent replacement by the end of 2014.
“Whether Nick is that person is yet to be determined,” Nelson said.
Morgan helped turn around a moribund program — his 105-169 record in seven seasons made him the all-time winningest coach in team history. The Yellowjackets narrowly missed their first Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference playoff berth last spring when they went 16-23 overall and 9-15 in the WIAC, good for a fifth-place finish. They won 10 conference games in 2010, their highest tally in almost 40 years.
Part of the appeal for the 23-year-old Bursik is a roster rife with young talent, including Proctor product Jake Lewis, the News Tribune’s co-All-Area Player of the Year in 2012.
Bursik, of Stillwater, Minn., said his interim status hasn’t hindered the recruiting process. If anything, he said, it’s lent clarity to recruits wanting to know who they’d be playing for next spring.
“There will be some difficulty being on an interim contract, but I don’t see that stopping us from growing or succeeding in any way,” Bursik said. “I believe we’re fully capable of making it work.”