UVU assistant has travelled afar prior to coming to UVU

Assistant men’s basketball coach Chris Burgess has been a great addition to the Utah Valley University basketball family.  Burgess is a basketball lifer and played collegiately at Duke for legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski and then transferred to the University of Utah where he played for another legend in Rick Majerus. After college he played professionally overseas for 11 years in places such as Australia, Asia and Europe. Before coming to UVU he coached at Indian Hills Community College in Iowa and Salt Lake Community College.

Two years ago, Burgess decided to return to the University of Utah and finish his degree. Not only did he finish the degree, but he decided to get into coaching as an undergrad. He immediately fell in love with coaching and made contact with Wolverine head coach Mark Pope.

UVU assistant coach Chris Burgess is seen here playing against Wake Forest in 1998. Photo courtesy of Duke Photography.
UVU assistant coach Chris Burgess is seen here playing against Wake Forest in 1998. Photo courtesy of Duke Photography.

The opportunity to work with Pope and the chance to return to Utah are what motivated Burgess to come to UVU.

“During the recruiting trail and all that stuff I kind of got to know Coach Pope and built some sort of relationship,” Burgess said.

Being able to play overseas and to meet so many people is still benefiting him to this day, especially in the recruiting process.

“This game overseas really opened up so many different doors and has opened up different contacts as far as recruiting goes,” Burgess said.

The ability to recruit overseas could be a huge factor for the future of UVU men’s basketball. Many programs have opened its doors to international players and found success, including St. Mary’s, which UVU played earlier this season.

Having been through the recruiting process as a player, Burgess has seen it all first hand and knows what players look for. Whether it is a coach that is trustworthy, or a dedication to give the player the necessary attention, Burgess knows what it takes to be a great recruiter.

Twenty years ago as Burgess was preparing to finish high school and begin his college career at Duke, Roger Reid, then head coach at BYU famously stated, “You let down all of the Mormons by committing to Duke.”

“I grew up a Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, Cherokee Parks, Grant Hill fan,” Burgess said. “My childhood dream was to put on that Duke blue and play in the ACC. ”

Burgess is a part of the new addition to the UVU coaching staff and looks forward to helping Mark Pope take the program to a new level.

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