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Chicago Tribune: “He Meant Everything”: The Profound Legacy of a Small-Town Swim Coach Felled by COVID-19

BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — Monmouth College head men’s & women’s swimming coach/assistant men’s and women’s water polo coach Tom Burek was featured in Chicago Tribune story entitled, “‘He Meant Everything’: The Profound Legacy of a Small-Town Swim Coach Felled by COVID-19” in the December 23 edition of the newspaper.

Burek passed away on Saturday afternoon, December 12, from complications related to COVID-19. He was 62.

The retired master sergeant who served the Illinois State Police for 23 years made a lasting impact on not only the Monmouth aquatics teams, but also the lives of the student-athletes who came through the Fighting Scots’ programs.

Burek, who also coached several swim clubs in the region and had assisted other college swim programs, was the second-longest serving swim coach in Monmouth history. Before he was named the program’s head swim coach and the college’s Director of Aquatics in 2013, Burek spent two seasons as its assistant coach.

An assistant coach for the varsity water polo program at Monmouth since the the program’s formation from the collegiate club ranks in the Fall of 2012, Burek aided in the rise of the institution’s water polo teams to stand among the contenders in the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC)-West Region (men’s) and CWPA Division III (women’s) over the past several seasons.

Burek was laid to rest in Galesburg, Illinois, on Friday, December 18,

Collegiate Water Polo Association