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CEDAR CITY — Athletics director Ken Beazer announced the hiring of Chris Boettcher as the head coach of the Southern Utah University women's basketball program on Friday. Boettcher returns to collegiate coaching after spending the past season leading a professional team in Japan.
“We are excited to have a coach of Chris’ character take over a program which has a very solid foundation in place,” Beazer said. “He brings a tremendous amount of experience coaching at the highest level and has shown exceptional dedication to the recruiting and development of student-athletes.”
Boettcher has a long history of coaching NCAA Division I basketball in the state of Utah, spending eight years at Utah Valley University and four seasons on the BYU staff with current head coach Jeff Judkins.
Boettcher began his career as a student assistant at Brigham Young University, working in the men’s program at the same time as former Thunderbird coach Roger Reid. He went on to join Metro State College of Denver as an assistant and administrator. In 1997, Boettcher was appointed the basketball advisor for the city of Takayama, Japan, where he helped the local teams reach the national tournament for the first time.
He returned to collegiate coaching in the women’s ranks at Utah Valley in 2001, aiding in the school’s transition from a junior college to an NCAA Division I program as the Wolverines' associate head coach. In 2009 he returned to his alma mater and helped the Cougars to a combined record of 97-37 during four years as a member of the coaching staff.
Boettcher most recently coached the Shiga Lakestars of the Professional Basketball Japan League, leading the team to its best-ever finish in the standings as well as a postseason appearance. Former Thunderbird standout David Palmer currently competes for the Kyoto Hannaryz, another member of the Japanese basketball association.
Boettcher earned a degree in math from BYU in 1994 with a P.E. coaching minor. He prepped at Weiser (Idaho) High School, lettering in football, basketball and baseball. He and his wife, Cinthya, have five children.
The T-Birds are coming off their most successful showing as a program after earning a share of the Big Sky Conference regular-season championship and reaching the WNIT for the first time. Boettcher becomes the 11th women’s basketball coach at Southern Utah since the school added the sport in 1975.
Boettcher will be introduced at a press conference held in the Sharwan Smith Center Cedar Breaks room on Friday, June 6, at 10 a.m. Community members are welcome to attend.