Utah men's basketball head coach Larry Krystkowiak announced Tuesday that former Runnin' Ute Chris Burgess will return to the program as an undergraduate assistant coach.
"We are very pleased to have Chris Burgess return to the Utah basketball program," Krystkowiak said. "This is a classic win-win scenario whereby Chris will be able to get his feet wet as an undergraduate student coach and at the same time, obtaining his degree in speech communication."
Burgess transferred to the University of Utah under head coach Rick Majerus. However, Burgess suffered a number of injuries that limited his productivity. After a solid start to his senior season, Burgess tore his right plantar fascia vs. Texas, forcing him to miss the remainder of his senior year.
At the point of his injury, Burgess was leading the Utes with 13.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, and 66 percent field-goal shooting while averaging 25.5 minutes a game.
Burgess suited up for the Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards from 2002-06 and then also played professionally in Turkey, Australia, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates and Poland over the past decade.
"He will be a valuable asset to our program due to his [10-year] experience as a professional player," Krystkowiak added. "Chris brings a passion for the game along with a youthful exuberance that will benefit our program."
Prior to attending Utah, Burgess played at Duke University for two years under coach Mike Krzyzewski. Duke made the Elite Eight and the NCAA National Championship game in Burgess's two seasons. He shot over 55 percent from the field during his tenure and left Duke ranked 23rd all-time in blocked shots.
At Woodbridge High School, Burgess received national recognition by being named a McDonald's All-American, Parade All-American, Slam Magazine All-American & USA Today All-American. He was also a three-time All-State First Team selection and led Woodbridge to a California Interscholastic Federation Championship in 1997.
Chris and his wife Lesa, a former Ute soccer player, have three daughters; Kelli Jo, Zoey and Ava, and two boys named Beckham and Zachary.