BYU men’s basketball assistant coach Chris Burgess to join Utah

(Updated: April 19, 2022)

After three years as an assistant for BYU men’s basketball, Chris Burgess is leaving to assume the same role at the University of Utah. The move was made official by Utah on April 19.

The news was first reported by The Salt Lake Tribune on April 13 and was subsequently confirmed by multiple media outlets.

Burgess played for the Utes for two years from 2001-02. Utah also gave him his first coaching position when he was a student assistant from 2013-14. In between, Burgess played professionally in 10 different countries.

“Returning to the University of Utah is exciting,” Burgess said in a statement released by Utah. “I love this University and am proud to be part of its basketball history. I’m excited for the opportunity to learn from Coach Smith, and help the student-athletes find success on and off the court.”

Next season will mark the first time BYU head coach Mark Pope has not had Burgess by his side since 2015. They were together for Pope’s entire tenure at Utah Valley University before coming to BYU together in 2019.

During his time at BYU, Burgess helped lead the Cougars’ recruiting efforts. Notable roster additions under Burgess’ watch include high school signings such as Collin Chandler, Caleb Lohner and Fousseyni Traore along with transfers Alex Barcello, Maat Haarms, Seneca Knight and Te’Jon Lucas.

The team’s record in Burgess’ three seasons was a combined 68-26 with an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2021. They likely would have had a second trip to the big dance, but the 2020 tournament was cancelled due to COVID-19. BYU was ranked as high as No. 12 in the AP poll in late November of the 2021-22 season.

Burgess joins a Utah program led by head coach Craig Smith, who just finished his first year in Salt Lake City after three years with Utah State. The Utes were 11-20 last season.

“We are thrilled to announce that Chris Burgess will be returning to his alma mater as an assistant coach for the Runnin’ Utes,” Utah said in a statement. “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.”

In Burgess’s BYU staff bio, Pope praised his assistant’s background as a coach.

β€œChris was one of the most highly touted recruits out of high school, played in a national championship game at Duke and was coached by one of the most fundamentally sound coaches at Utah in Rick Majerus. He pulls from his own personal experiences as a collegiate athlete and extensive experience as a professional career to not only teach these young men the fundamentals of the game but to also help them grow as a players and people.”

BYU has no comment on the reports.

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