Gulf South Conference

University of West Florida

The University of West Florida Wednesday welcomed its newest coaching addition.

Jeff Burkhamer is the fourth head coach in the program’s 31-year history. He brings 31 years’ coaching experience to Pensacola, including 373 victories at the junior college and Division II levels. 

But UWF Athletic Director Dave Scott says in hiring Burkhamer last week, they looked beyond wins and losses.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

The University of West Florida’s new football program on Monday held its first tryout for students seeking to join the squad as walk-ons.

About 75 UWF students, most of them having played football at high schools in Florida and Alabama, turned out at the UWF Intramural Fields. They’re hoping to make a team that doesn’t begin play until September of next year. The 2015 season will be spent at practice, with players being red-shirted – that is, not losing any eligibility in the run up to West Florida’s inaugural season.

UWF Football Yr Ender

Dec 20, 2014
Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

In early 2014, the University of West Florida took a major step towards fielding a football team in 2016. Pete Shinnick was introduced in February as the program’s first head coach.

By her count, UWF President Judy Bense said she waited five years, four months and 32 days for this announcement.

Shinnick came to Pensacola from the University of North Carolina-Pembroke, where he started that football program from scratch. In seven seasons, the Braves won 55 games – including a 9-2 mark in 2013, while advancing to the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs.

The University of West Florida will field its inaugural football team in the fall of 2016. Leading the Argonauts will be Pete Shinnick – who is no stranger to starting a program from scratch. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody recently sat down with the head coach.

The 48-year-old Shinnick comes to Pensacola from the University of North Carolina-Pembroke, where he started that football program from scratch. In seven seasons, the Braves won 55 games – including a 9-2 mark last year while advancing to the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Pete Shinnick was introduced Thursday, as the first head football coach at the University of West Florida. The work now begins towards the first game in September of 2016.

By her count, UWF President Judy Bense has waited five years, four months and 32 days for today’s announcement.

“I now can finally answer the question that I have been asked more as president than any other question,” said Bense. “”When are we going to start UWF football?’”