Chris Burgess Makes It Official With Utah Basketball
SALT LAKE CITY- A week after news broke former player turned coach, Chris Burgess would be heading back to the Utes, he made it official with Utah basketball.
“We are thrilled to announce that Chris Burgess will be returning to his alma mater as an assistant coach for the Runnin’ Utes,” head coach Craig Smith said. “He is a fantastic coach, great recruiter and an excellent teacher. Chris is a relationship person – a connector. We are excited to welcome Chris and his family back to the University of Utah.”
After spending the past three seasons in Provo with BYU basketball, Burgess is heading north to his alma mater as an assistant coach. Burgess will bring the Utes seven years of coaching experience between his time with the Cougars and at Utah Valley University.
Before diving into coaching, Burgess spent time in the NBA and playing abroad from 2002-2013.
Initially Burgess started his college career under coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, but transferred to Utah in 2000 under head coach Rick Majerus. During Burgess’ time with the Blue Devils the team made the Elite Eight and the National Championship. Unfortunately, Burgess’ time with the Utes wasn’t as noteworthy due to injuries.
What Burgess Brings
Aside from coaching experience, Burgess brings an extensive network and respected name. With contacts statewide, nationally, and internationally, Burgess should help open up recruiting options for the Utes.
Utah appears to be benefitting immediately from Burgess returning home as they received a commitment shortly after the announcement from center Keba Keita of Wasatch Academy.
Perhaps most importantly of all, Burgess should be able to help restore the winning culture of Utah basketball, having been a part of it as a player years ago. Having an understanding of the history and sense of pride that comes with being a Runnin’ Ute will be an important component of head coach Craig Smith’s rebuild.
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