Cougar Corner: Coaching Carousel Continues for BYU

by Mike Miller

The past week in Provo has seen more fireworks off the court and field than on. Three coaches—two head and one assistant—have all left or retired for various reasons. Baseball head coach Mike Littlewood quit for “personal reasons,” men’s basketball assistant Chris Burgess is reportedly taking the same role at Utah, and women’s basketball head coach Jeff Judkins retired after 21 seasons.

Baseball

The Cougars had a successful weekend, dropping a combined 20 runs on Santa Clara to sweep the three-game series. Their bliss was ended, however, when they were greeted with news that head coach Mike Littlewood was resigning. Littlewood was in the middle of his 10th season. The move was announced by the university Monday, with players reportedly not being informed ahead of time. The only reason given for the resignation was “personal reasons.”

Next Up: Now lead by interim head coach Trent Pratt for the rest of the season—he was previously associate head coach—the team will attempt to recover emotionally as they travel to Nebraska for a four-game series. BYU will have one game Thursday, two on Friday, and one on Saturday. All four will be broadcast on BYU Radio.

Men’s Basketball

The Salt Lake Tribune first reported Wednesday morning that assistant coach Chris Burgess will be returning to his alma matter, Utah. He will be an assistant under former Utah State head coach Craig Smith. While the move is not yet official, multiple media outlets have confirmed the news.

Women’s Basketball

After 21 seasons, a 456-204 record—the most in school basketball history, men’s or women’s—and 10 NCAA Tournament appearances, Jeff Judkins is ready to retire. BYU announced his decision Thursday after he informed his players. Current assistant and former men’s player Lee Cummard is reportedly an early favorite to replace Judkins.

Softball

BYU opened conference play with a disappointing 2-1 series loss to LMU. Their remaining games this week against Dixie State (in Provo) and Idaho State (in Pocatello) were canceled, presumably for inclement weather as snowstorms rolled through the Intermountain West.

Next Up: The Cougars will host crosstown foe UVU next weekon Wednesday at 6:00 PM MT. The game will be available through BYUtv. The team will then resume conference play with a three-game series at San Diego.

Men’s Tennis

The last home contest of the season will be this Saturday at 12:00 MT at BYU’s outdoor tennis courts. Loyola Marymount will be in town.

Men’s Volleyball

After finally breaking their losing streak with wins over Concordia University, Irvine and Pepperdine, the Cougars were back in the losing column thanks to Stanford. The Cardinal took care of business at home in two consecutive games, winning 3-0 and 3-1.

Next Up: The regular season concludes with the final home games of the season. No. 1 UCLA comes to town Friday and Saturday. Both matches start at 7:00 PM MT on BYUtv

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