Chris Boettcher Takes Over T-Bird Women’s Basketball
CEDAR CITY, Utah, June 9 – Southern Utah University introduced new women’s basketball coach Chris Boettcher at a press conference on Friday. This will be Boettcher’s first NCAA head coaching position after spending several seasons as an assistant at both Utah Valley and BYU before moving to Japan to lead the Shiga Lakestars last year.
"With the success of SUU and the direction they're headed, we're excited to bring our work ethic and vision,” stated Boettcher. “It was easy to pack up again, leave Japan and know we're settling in for a while to make Cedar City home.”
Boettcher’s first task as the leader of the program will be the hiring of his staff, and he explained that the process is already underway.
“I have a pool of assistants that have done the initial wave of interviews, and as I have made this transition back I have contacted coaches from around the state and have another group of people who have interest,” explained Boettcher. “I want to give due diligence and talk to everybody. So this next week we’ll be wrapping that up.”
The new head coach also gave fans an idea of what they can expect to see on the floor in the upcoming season, describing himself as being a “defensive-first coach.”
“My general philosophy is man-to-man defense with the ability to switch and maintain pressure,” commented Boettcher. “We will focus on stopping opponents and taking away their strengths.”
Boettcher acknowledged that the foundation is in place for the Thunderbird program to continue forward under his direction.
“Sometimes it’s hard to come in and build a blue-collar mentality that hard work leads to success, but talking to these girls, they are ready and willing to work,” said Boettcher. “They are ready to battle to earn the respect that they deserve.”
Two members of his team, Brenna Gates and Marquelle Funk, were on hand to meet their new coach and echoed that sentiment while expressing their excitement to work with Boettcher.
“It is exciting to have a coach in place and start moving forward,” said Funk.
“It's nice to be the first couple of players on the team to meet him and hear the words coming out of his mouth with the plans he has for us,” added Gates.
The offseason continues now with a coach in place as the Thunderbirds work to build on a year that saw the team earn a share of the Big Sky regular season title, compile a school record 23 wins and advance to the WNIT for the first time in program history.