BREAKING: Utah Basketball Hires Chris Burgess
SALT LAKE CITY- After months of speculation, head coach Craig Smith pulls the trigger, hiring former Runnin’ Ute, Chris Burgess to fill an assistant coaching vacancy. In March, Smith’s right-hand man, Eric Peterson, was hired to be South Dakota’s new head coach.
Since 2019, Burgess has been in Provo as an assistant coach for BYU’s basketball team under head coach Mark Pope. Before, Burgess was an assistant coach for Utah Valley University making the move to BYU with coach Pope. Burgess sharpened his coaching teeth at Utah as a graduate assistant starting in 2013.
Burgess transferred to Utah in 2000 playing for legendary coach Rick Majerus. Prior to joining the Utes, Burgess played under another coaching legend, Mike Krzyzewski at Duke who retired after this season.
Burgess’ senior year at Utah looked to chugging full steam ahead until an injury derailed his progress. Before Burgess sat the remainder of his senior year, he was leading the Utes in scoring with 13.2 point per game, 7.2 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and was 66 percent shooting from the field goal.
Despite the disappointing end to his senior year at Utah, Burgess still spent time in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics, and Washington Wizards from 2002-2006. Burgess also spent time playing basketball overseas across continents.
Up Next For The Utes
After a tough season going 11-20 and finishing 11th in the Pac-12, the Utes will be looking to take another step forward in their rebuild process. Smith recently brought in a guard from Cincinnati through the transfer portal in Mike Saunders Jr. earlier this month.
Adding Burgess to the coaching roster is surely another step in Smith’s year two efforts to bring pride and prestige back to the hardwood for Utah. Burgess will help coach the bigs while also helping the Utes locally, nationally, internationally on the recruiting trail.
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