Wyoming AD earns voice in college football playoffs
Irving, Texas -- University of Wyoming Athletics Director Tom Burman has been selected as one of the three new members to the prestigious College Football Playoff (CFP) Selection Committee beginning in 2020. The announcement was made on Wednesday by CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock. Burman will be one of only 13 members on the exclusive national committee.
Burman is currently in his fourteenth year serving as athletics director at the University of Wyoming where he oversees Wyoming’s 17 NCAA Division I sports. He is the longest serving athletics director in the Mountain West Conference.
The College Football Playoff (CFP) determines the national champion of the top division of college football. The format fits within the academic calendar and preserves the sport’s unique and compelling regular season.
The selection committee ranks the teams based on the members’ evaluation of the teams’ performance on the field, using conference championships won, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, and comparison of results against common opponents to decide among teams that are comparable. The Selection Committee’s responsibilities include:
ranking the top 25 teams and assigning the top four to semifinal sites, assigning teams to New Year’s Six bowls, creating competitive matchups, attempt to avoid rematches of regular-season games and repeat appearances in specific bowls and consider geography in creating those matchups.
During his time as athletics director at UW, Burman has led over $120 million in fundraising projects. Among the most high profile of those projects is Wyoming’s new $44 million Mick and Susie McMurry High Altitude Performance Center (HAPC), which opened in August of 2018. The facility is home to Cowboy Football, and it also benefits all Wyoming’s student-athletes with two new state-of-the-art strength and conditioning areas, an expansive academic center, a comprehensive sports medicine area and a cutting edge training table.
Burman hired current Wyoming head football coach Craig Bohl in December 2013. Since then, Bohl has led Wyoming Football to unprecedented heights. Wyoming has made three bowl appearances and captured two bowl championships in the last four seasons. Wyoming earned the right to host the 2016 Mountain West Football Championship Game as the highest ranked team in the Mountain West, and was named the National Team of the Week by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) during the 2016 season.
In 2016 and ‘17, Wyoming enjoyed two of its most high profile seasons in school history when quarterback Josh Allen led the Cowboys. Allen was the No. 7 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, becoming the highest NFL Draft pick in Wyoming school history and most recently led the Bills to the 2019 NFL Playoffs. In a study by national research firm Joyce Julius & Associates, the media exposure generated by Wyoming Football in the 2017-18 academic year was estimated at $159 million.
Cowboy Football also has achieved its highest team grade-point averages during Burman’s time as athletics director. University of Wyoming Athletics as a whole also achieved a single-year average Academic Progress Rate (APR) score of 992 for all of its teams combined for the most recent academic year measured, which was 2017-18. That is the best combined single-year average score that UW Athletics has earned in the history of the NCAA’s APR that dates back to the 2003-04 academic year. A perfect score is 1,000.
In November of 2017, the Cowboy Joe Club, the fundraising organization for the University of Wyoming Athletics Department, announced that it had reached the 5,000-member plateau, making it the largest annual athletics scholarship fund membership in the Mountain West Conference.
Among the over $120 million in facilities projects that Burman has spearheaded during his time as athletics director are a number of football related projects, including: construction of a new $11 million Indoor Practice Facility (Fall 2007); construction of the $22 million Wildcatter Stadium Club & Suites addition to War Memorial Stadium (Fall 2010); extensive renovations to the east side of War Memorial Stadium; and the $44 million High Altitude Performance Center that was funded by $24 million in private donations and $20 million in matching funds from the state of Wyoming that were allocated with the support from the Wyoming State Legislature and then Gov. Matt Mead.
Burman has brought a series of high-profile home football games to Wyoming’s War Memorial Stadium during his tenure. He negotiated home games versus: Texas (2009), Nebraska (2011), Oregon (2017) and Missouri (2019).
Before becoming A.D. at Wyoming, Burman had previously served as an Associate Athletics Director at UW from 1995-2000. His first position at his alma mater was as Associate Athletics Director for Development from 1995-97. From 1997-2000, Burman was Wyoming’s Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs. During that time period, he was instrumental in raising funds for the $9.4 million Rochelle Athletics Center.
He served as Athletics Director at Portland State University from Sept. 2000 through March 2006. Burman returned to UW in March 2006 as Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement with the UW Foundation, before being selected as the eighth athletics director in UW history in October 2006.
Prior to entering a career in college athletics, he worked as a project manager for the sports management company DeWilber & Associates in McLean, Va., from 1990-92.
Burman earned a bachelor of science degree from Wyoming in 1988 and an M.B.A. from Robert Morris University in Coraopolis, Pa., in 1991. Burman is 54 years old, born Jan. 4, 1966.He and his wife, Kathy, have two sons, Drew and Nathan.
— University of Wyoming press release