Utah’s Chris Burgess Thanks Cougar Nation For Three Years At BYU

Brigham Young University basketball head coach Mark Pope, second from right, poses for a photo with his newly-hired assistant coaches Chris Burgess, Cody Fueger and Nick Robinson, left to right, after a press conference at the Marriott Center Annex in Provo on Thursday , April 25, 2019. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Former BYU and current Utah men’s basketball assistant Chris Burgess thanked Cougar Nation for his three seasons in Provo.

Burgess was officially hired at his alma mater on Tuesday, April 19.

Hours later, the former BYU coach posted a thank you letter to Cougar Nation on social media.

“Thank you for the past three years. BYU holds a special place in my heart as one of the great experiences of my career,” Burgess wrote. “I am forever grateful for the opportunity afforded to me to be part of such a great university, culture and basketball program.”

Burgess also thanked BYU head coach Mark Pope and Cougar assistants Cody Fueger and Nick Robinson.

Burgess to 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 2002-13.

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.

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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