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Cody Burgess to take reins of UAF women’s basketball program

Fairbanks, Alaska-University of Alaska Fairbanks athletics director Forrest Karr announced Thursday that Cody Burgess has been named the next head coach for the Alaska Nanooks women's basketball program. Burgess will take over as the 10th head coach in program history.

"Cody has the plan, passion and broad support necessary to provide the foundation that Nanooks women's basketball has been missing," said Karr. "She is an emerging leader that brings integrity, trust, stability and coaching ability to the job and I cannot imagine a better candidate for this position."

A UAF alumna, Burgess was a power forward for the Nanooks from 2002-05. She has nine years of combined playing and coaching experience at a diverse range of college levels and hands-on knowledge of Fairbanks and UAF.

"This is an exciting time in my life to be coming back to coach at Alaska," said Burgess. "My playing experience was positive and memorable. I hope to offer that same experience to the young women I will be coaching."

After leaving UAF, Burgess spent one season as the girl's basketball assistant coach for North Pole High School, helping guide the Patriots to a second place finish at the Alaska state championships in the 4A division.

This season she was an assistant coach at Moberly Area Community College. She helped guide the Lady Greyhounds to a 17-14 record. While Burgess' main role was as the recruiting coordinator, her other responsibilities included developing practices, coordinating the competition schedule, website maintenance and media relations, fundraising and monitoring student-athletes' academic progress.

Burgess also spent two seasons as an assistant coach at William Woods University. In 2008-09 Burgess helped lead the Owls to a 21-10 record, a tournament bid and a conference championship title. The season was a turnaround after a dismal 4-23 campaign in 2007-08.

"It's obvious that Cody has learned a great deal during her postgraduate studies and coaching experiences," said Karr. "More importantly, however, she conveys a wholesome, holistic view of intercollegiate athletics reflective of the view of education through athletics versus education for athletics. She has a vision, a commitment to make it happen and a willingness to keep learning and improving."

During her time at UAF, she was selected Daktronics First Team All-West Region in 2005 and Second Team All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference in 2003 and 2005.  She led the GNAC in scoring during the 2003 and 2005 seasons and was a team captain as a senior in 2004-05. She holds career records in the GNAC for her scoring average in all games (19.3) and in league games (20.0), as well as the all-time records for free throws made (188) and attempted (225), which were set during the 2004-05 campaign.

Before playing at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Burgess played two seasons at Wenatchee Valley College, where she was named First Team All-Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges in 2002, as well as team MVP.

"Cody was a junior college recruit who had a skeptical view of UAF and Alaska and then fell in love with both," Karr said. "She leads by example and even recovered from a serious knee injury to earn First Team All-West Region in 2005. Cody knows the importance of in-state recruiting and she also has Pacific Northwest and Midwest recruiting connections. She has a unique background to be able to convince young women to come to UAF."

Burgess holds a bachelor's degree in natural resources management from UAF and a master's degree in athletic administration from William Woods University.

"There is a lot of work ahead for all involved," added Burgess, "but I am confident that I can lead the program in the right direction. I am blessed to have this opportunity and look forward to the journey ahead."

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