Omaha Burke Bulldogs
Assistant Coach: Eric Pankoke
Year at Burke: 6th
Eric Pankoke is coaching his sixth season with the Burke Boys Soccer Program and serves as a Varsity Assistant.
Eric was born and raised in Lincoln, NE and graduated Lincoln East High School in 2000. He started playing soccer from an early age and ultimately landed a Captain-ship on Capital Soccer Association’s (CSA) Gold Nemesis, a 3-time Nebraska State Championship, 1-time Regional Tournament semi-final qualifying club team.
Eric played high school soccer from 1997-2000 and was on the State Qualifying Varsity squad his Sophomore, Junior and Senior seasons. He capped off his Senior season leading the Spartans in goals and was named First Team All-Nebraska by the Omaha World Herald and First Team Super-State by the Lincoln Journal, as a center midfielder. Shortly thereafter he was selected to play in the Nebraska Shrine Game. During Eric’s high school years he also participated in Nebraska’s Olympic Development Program.
After graduating high school, Eric went on to play at Hastings College. His Freshman year was all but lost after fracturing his fibula on the 3rd day of practice. As a Sophomore Eric started at center mid and helped propel Hastings College to their first ever Men’s Soccer National Tournament, with a last minute goal in the Regional Finals. Eric received Offensive Player-of-the-Tournament and Regional Player-of-the-Year honors. His Senior season was finalized with a trip to the final four of the National Tournament and a final national ranking of 3rd. This 2003 team finished 23-2, with a school record 17 shut-outs (3rd in NAIA record books). Over his four years Hastings went 78-13-2 and Eric ended up First Team All-Conference three times, Honorable Mention All-American twice and a two year Captain.
Eric tried his hand at professional soccer after college, by playing in the Major Indoor Soccer League with the Kansas City Comets in 2004. His career was ultimately cut short by injury, and because he was more in love his future wife, Jessica, than he was soccer. He has resided in Omaha the last 11 years and he and Jessica now have wonderful four year-old twin boys, Brody and Breckin.
Eric plays an important role in the successes that the Varsity team enjoys. Eric spends numerous hours in the off season meeting with players and helping them improve their individual skills.