Mark Pope has been on the job as BYU men’s basketball head coach for two weeks.
Now he has help.
Pope announced on Wednesday the hiring of Cody Fueger, Chris Burgess and Nick Robinson as assistant coaches.
Fueger was with Pope both at BYU and at Utah Valley, while Burgess joined Pope’s staff in Orem four seasons ago. Robinson comes from Seattle University, where he has been an assistant for the past two years.
When he was hired, Pope had this to say about what he was looking for in an assistant coaching staff.
“I have four things that I really care about in a staff,” he said. “I care that my guys are 24/7, relentless guys. I care that my guys are fully capable of working guys on the floor and teaching them the game and are enmeshed in their life because it’s core that it is about these young men. I want coaches who are really hungry and are chasing their own careers. I want to them to move up through the ladder I want coaches that are 100% loyal. Loyal to these young men, loyal to the program, loyal to the staff and loyal to the university.”
Hired as part of Pope’s initial staff in 2015, Fueger and Burgess helped UVU improve from 12 wins in 2015-16 to a program-record 25 victories in 2018-19. With Fueger and Burgess on the staff, the Wolverines made three-straight postseason appearances (2017, 2018, 2019) and registered back-to-back 20-win seasons (2017-18, 2018-19) – both UVU records.
The Wolverines also set several offensive records the last four seasons. Utah Valley rewrote the top four spots in scoring average in the school record book, including a record 78.1 points per game in 2017-18. The Wolverines also claimed four of the top five spots for 3-point field goals made while setting the record with 300 in 2016-17.
“Cody is a true veteran of coaching, having coached at the college level for the last 17 years in every region of the country,” Pope said. “He’s had experience in the highest levels of basketball, has recruited all around the world and has been mentored by some of the greatest coaches in the history of the game. Cody has a magical way of coaching players really hard while building strong relationships that last beyond their tenure under his tutelage.”
A coach with a reputation for developing strong relationships with his players, Fueger also has experience at BYU (2013-15), Utah State (2012-13), UC Riverside (2011-12), Louisiana Tech (2007-11) and Utah (2002-07). As director of operations at BYU for two seasons, Fueger helped the Cougars reach the NCAA tournament in 2014 and 2015.
Fueger and his wife Danielle have two children, Isabella (8) and Andrew (4). He earned two degrees from the University of Utah – a bachelor’s degree in economics (2006) and a master’s in parks, recreation and tourism-sports management (2007).
Under Burgess’ tutelage, a pair of Wolverine big men earned All-WAC honors the last two seasons as Akolda Manyang was named to the WAC All-Defensive Team in 2017-18 and Wyatt Lowell was named the 2018-19 WAC Freshman of the Year. In addition to the conference honors, UVU big men were ranked among the most efficient offensive players in the country per Synergy Sports.
“Chris was one of the most highly touted recruits out of high school, played in a national championship game at Duke and was coached by one of the most fundamentally sound coaches at Utah in Rick Majerus,” Pope said. “He pulls from his own personal experiences as a collegiate athlete and extensive experience as a professional career to not only teach these young men the fundamentals of the game but to also help them grow as a players and people.”
Burgess began his coaching career as a student assistant at Utah in 2013-14 while finishing his degree. He then worked as a volunteer assistant at Salt Lake Community College during the summer of 2014 before being hired as an assistant coach at Indian Hills Community College for the 2014-15 season.
Burgess and his wife Lesa, a former Utah soccer player, have five children, Kelli Jo (14), Zoey (13), Ava (10), Beckham (7) and Zachary (6). He completed his bachelor of science in speech communication from Utah in 2014.
Robinson has experience with a variety of programs in a variety of positions, including head coach, assistant coach and director of operations. Most recently, Robinson was an assistant coach to Jim Hayford at Seattle for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. He helped the Redhawks to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since the 1968-69 and 1969-70 seasons. Seattle also earned back-to-back postseason bids during Robinson’s tenure.
“Nick and I have been good friends since we entered this business,” Pope said. “He had an extraordinary career as a college player and student at Stanford where he won at a high level. He’s had extensive experience at Stanford, LSU, Southern Utah, William Jewel and Seattle and is a true student of this game. He’s passionate about mentoring these student-athletes and helping them reach their potential.”
Prior to joining the coaching staff in Seattle, Robinson was the head coach at Southern Utah from 2012-16. During his four seasons as head coach of the Thunderbirds, his student-athletes earned two All-Big Sky selections, 20 Big Sky Academic All-Conference honors, five NABC Honors Court selections and one NABC Academic Excellence Team Award (2012-13).
Before Southern Utah, Robinson gained experience at LSU (2009-12), William Jewell College (2008-09) and Stanford (2006-08). During his time at Stanford, Robinson contributed to the development of three future NBA players and assisted the team as the Cardinal reached the NCAA tournament in 2007 and 2008. Other highlights include helping William Jewell defeat the No. 1 team in the first round of the NAIA Division I tournament and playing a role in LSU returning to the postseason after a two-year drought.
Robinson played his college basketball at Stanford from 2001-05, where he helped the Cardinal to a 92-34 record, four trips to the NCAA Tournament, Pac-10 regular season and tournament championships and a No. 1 national ranking during the 2003-04 season. He served as team captain during his junior and senior seasons.
Robinson and his wife Meagan are the parents of four children, Annie, Tate, Toby and Elsie. He graduated from Stanford in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in sociology. Robinson served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil.