MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Gold and Blue Nation) – Record-setting former West Virginia University gymnastics coach Linda Burdette-Good died unexpectedly early Tuesday morning in Hilton Head, South Carolina, family members have confirmed.
Burdette-Good took over a one-year-old women’s gymnastics program in 1975, and in 37 seasons (1975-2011), led the Mountaineers to four national championship appearances, 10 conference titles and a 644-263-4 (.709) overall record.
She became the only WVU coach to earn 600 career wins with a Mountaineer team when she eclipsed that benchmark on Jan. 31, 2009, with victories over George Washington and Rutgers at the WVU Coliseum, and she compiled 35 winning seasons, including 14 years with 20-or-more wins. None of her teams after 1981 posted a losing record.
In addition to her 10 conference championships, six in the East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) and four in the Atlantic 10, Burdette-Good led the Mountaineers to 33 regional championships, three NCAA Championships and the 1982 AIAW National Championships.
Led by freshman Shari Retton, WVU’s first female sport All-American and a WVU Sports Hall of Fame member, the Mountaineers finished third at the AIAW meet, the University’s first-ever national championships trip, behind first-place Florida and runner-up Alabama, and ahead of national powers Georgia, Ohio State and BYU, among others. Following the championships, Burdette-Good was named the EAIAW Coach of the Year. Each of Burdette-Good’s NCAA Championships teams (1995, 1999, 2000) placed 12th overall.
Prior to her AIAW National Championships appearance, Burdette-Good, a five-time conference coach of the year, was named the 1981 and 1982 regional AIAW Coach of the Year. She also was named the 1995 NCAA Southeast Regional Coach of the Year.
Burdette-Good, 74, coached 12 outstanding senior gymnasts and 12 conference gymnasts of the year honorees. She also coached 17 NCAA individual qualifiers, 13 All-Americans and eight NCAA Regional event champions.
Several seasons stand out in Burdette-Good’s storied career, including 2001, when three different Mountaineers scored perfect 10s and the 17th-ranked squad reclaimed the EAGL Championship after a two-year drought.
The 1999 season also was noteworthy, as the Mountaineers advanced to their second national championships in four years after compiling a 19-7 record and finishing sixth at the EAGL Championship. In 2000, despite the WVU Coliseum being closed for asbestos abatement and her team sustaining injuries to key contributors, Burdette-Good led the Mountaineers to two of the top-10 team scores in school history in meets held at Morgantown High, and WVU advanced to the NCAA Championships for the second straight season.
She mentored the best gymnast in school history, Kristin Quackenbush, another WVU Sports Hall of Fame member, who became the school’s only AAI American Award winner and a six-time NCAA All-American. She set school records on vault and floor and scored five career perfect 10s.
Burdette-Good stressed excellence in the classroom throughout her career and coached 86 NACGC/W Scholastic All-Americans. Additionally, she coached five CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, and 66 Mountaineers earned 644 EAGL All-Academic recognitions under her guidance.
Her influence also spanned the athletic and academic realms. She served on the six-member NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Committee and was the chair of the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee. Additionally, Burdette-Good was the driving force behind the creation of the EAGL and was that league’s first chair.
A native of Parkersburg, West Virginia, Burdette-Good joined the Mountaineer athletic department following a one-year coaching stint at Fairmont State. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from West Virginia University and spent several years as an assistant professor in WVU’s College of Physical Activity and Sport Science (CPASS). In retirement, she continued to volunteer her time as a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame selection committee.
Burdette-Good was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 2013, the Mountaineer Legends Society in 2017 and the CPASS Hall of Fame in 2019.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Anna, and husband, Lee Good. She is survived by former husband Bob Burdette and grandchildren Ashton Burdette and Robert David Cooper.
Funeral arrangements are pending.