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Utah Utes basketball: Former Ute Chris Burgess joins staff as undergraduate assistant coach

Published: Saturday, Aug. 1 2015 12:50 p.m. MDT

Utah's Chris Burgess dunks the ball during the game against UNLV at the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah, Saturday, January 13, 2001. Photo/Johanna Workman (Johanna Workman, All) Utah's Chris Burgess dunks the ball during the game against UNLV at the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah, Saturday, January 13, 2001. Photo/Johanna Workman (Johanna Workman, All)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah men's basketball coach Larry Krystkowiak announced Tuesday morning that former Runnin' Ute Chris Burgess has joined the program as an undergraduate assistant coach.

As a player, Burgess transferred to Utah under head coach Rick Majerus in 2000, however, he 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.

"We are very pleased to have Chris Burgess return to the Utah basketball program," Krystkowiak said in a released statement. "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 suited up for the Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards from 2002-06 and also played professionally in Turkey, Australia, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates and Poland over the past decade.

Duke's Chris Burgess (34) slams home a dunk as South Carolina State's Coray Davis (4) looks on during the first half of Saturday, Nov. 21, 1998, game at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.(AP Photo/Grant Halverson) (Grant Halverson, Associated Press) Duke's Chris Burgess (34) slams home a dunk as South Carolina State's Coray Davis (4) looks on during the first half of Saturday, Nov. 21, 1998, game at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.(AP Photo/Grant Halverson) (Grant Halverson, Associated Press)

"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 for two years under coach Mike Krzyzewski. Duke made the Elite Eight and the NCAA National Championship game during Burgess' two seasons with the Blue Devils. He shot over 55 percent from the field during his tenure and left Duke ranked 23rd all-time in blocked shots.

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.

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