University of Arkansas at Little Rock head swimming and diving coach Amy Burgess has announced her decision to step away from the program after leading the team for 15 seasons, with one more season as an assistant for 16 total years with the Trojans.
She is leaving to spend more time with her family.
“It has been an absolute honor to be a part of Little Rock Athletics these past 16 years,” said Burgess. “Words cannot express how every single swimmer and diver left an imprint on my heart that will be there forever. Thank you to everyone that blessed me with the privilege to be called Coach. It is a title I was proud to have.”
“Big thanks to all those that provided support out of the water: donors, alumni, parents, support staff, friends and family…the list could go on and on,” she added. “This journey would not have been possible without you. I am excited for the next adventure with my family, and will always cherish my time as a Little Rock Trojan.”
Little Rock is an NCAA Division I women’s team that competes in the Missouri Valley Conference. In 2023, they finished 9th out of 10 teams at the MVC Championships, beating out Valparaiso.
When she took over the program, she had an instant-impact: 48 school records were broken or tied in her first four seasons. In the last three years, UALR has broken 8 school records.
In the classroom, UALR has been named as a CSCAA Academic All-America Team for 19 straight semesters.
An Arkansas native, Burgess (née Gruber) swam at the University of Kansas from 2002-2005, where she was one of the most-accomplished swimmers in program history. In 2005, she set a school record in the 200 yard freestyle, and she still ranks in the top 5 in program history in the 50 free (22.92 – #4), 100 free (49.49 – #3), 200 free (1:47.01 – #3), and 100 fly (53.59 – #4).
She was named the program MVP in 2002, 2004, and 2005, was a four-year Big 12 Scholar Athlete, and was the KU Senior Female Student-Athlete of the Year winner in the 2004-2005 season.
In 2017, she was inducted into the Arkansas Swimming Hall of Fame.
Burgess was earning an annual salary of $56,413 in Fiscal Year 2022 according to public records information. Amy and her husband Mike have one daughter, Baylyn, and one son, Michael.
Assistant coach Chris Pape has been named the Trojans’ interim head coach as Athletics Director George Lee works through the transition phase to select Little Rock’s new permanent head coach.
Burgess was one of 41 women in head coaching positions in NCAA Division I Swimming & Diving in the 2021-2022 season, according to the Tucker Center.