Burgess returns to BYU, named assistant coach

Burgess spent three seasons as an assistant at BYU from 2019-22

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PROVO, Utah – Chris Burgess will return to BYU as an assistant coach, BYU men’s basketball head coach Kevin Young announced on Wednesday afternoon.

"Chris and I quickly connected," Young said. "I was impressed with how he sees all the aspects of college basketball. He has a bright mind for the game and is very forward thinking. He will be a great asset to our players and our program. I’m excited about bringing Chris and his family back to BYU. 

After coaching three seasons from 2019-2022 as an assistant at BYU, Burgess spent the past two seasons as an assistant head coach at Utah. During his time on The Hill, he helped Branden Carlson transform into one of the top centers in the Pac-12. He was a two-time All-Pac-12 First Team player under Burgess, averaging 17.0 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in 2023-24 leading the Utes to the semifinal of the NIT.

During his first stint at BYU, the Cougars went 70-26 and were ranked in the Top 25 each of his three seasons in Provo. He was also part of staff that helped BYU get back to the NCAA Tournament in 2021, its first appearance since 2015. 

The Cougars made a run to the quarterfinals of the NIT in 2021-22 with one of the youngest frontcourts in the country. After losing two seniors in the opening seven games of the season, then-true freshman Fousseyni Traore was thrown into a starting role where the native of Bamako, Mali native earned WCC All-Freshman Team accolades under Burgess' tutelage. Traore broke freshman records for offensive and total rebounds while finishing with the fourth-highest shooting percentage in program history. 

In 2020-21, BYU returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015 earning a No. 6 seed and facing UCLA in the Round of 64. The Cougars were one of the top rebounding teams in the nation ranking fifth in defensive rebounds per game, 22nd in rebound margin and 25th in rebounds per game. Another big man Burgess worked with, Matt Haarms became the first Cougar in program history to be named the WCC Defensive Player of the Year after leading the league in blocks.

During his first season in Provo, Burgess helped the Cougars finish 24-8 overall and second in the WCC. They finished the season ranked in the Top 25 for the first time since 2010-11 and were on track to make the NCAA Tournament before the season was shut down due to Covid-19. BYU led the nation in 3-point field goal percentage while also ranking in the Top 5 in assist-to-turnover ratio, field goal percentage, 3-point field goals and assists per game.

Burgess spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Utah Valley helping the Wolverines go from a 12-win team in his first season to a then-program record 25 wins in 2018-19. They recorded back-to-back 20-win seasons while making three consecutive postseason appearances.

He got his start in coaching serving as a student assistant at Utah under former head coach Larry Krystkowiak in 2013-14 while earning his undergraduate degree. He went on to be a volunteer assistant at Salt Lake Community College and assistant coach at Indian Hills Community College.

The former No. 1 recruit in the country and McDonald’s All-American began his collegiate career at Duke before transferring to Utah to play his final two seasons under the late Rick Majerus. Following his collegiate career, he played professionally for 11 years with stops in Turkey, Australia, South Korea, Ukraine, Puerto Rico, Poland, UAE and the Philippines.