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UAF Women’s Basketball names Jessie Craig interim head coach following Nakamoto’s departure

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 6:08 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The University of Alaska Fairbanks Women’s Basketball program will have a new head coach entering the 2021-22 season. Assistant coach Jessie Craig has been elevated to interim head coach, announced by Director of Athletics Brock Anundson Friday.

“We are extremely excited to elevate Coach Craig to the head coaching role.” Anundson said in a UAF press release. “She has been an essential part of Nanook Women’s Basketball, as she enters her fifth year with the team. It’s clear that her players are confident in her ability and are excited to develop under her direction. I’m eager to see Jessie excel this year, as we start a new chapter in Women’s Basketball. With Coach Nakamoto’s departure, we wish her the best and thank her for her time with Nanook Women’s Basketball.”

Keri Nakamoto accepted an assistant coaching role at Santa Clara University’s Division I women’s basketball program Tuesday after three years of leading the Nanooks, recruiting some of the top talent in the state.

The UAF Women’s Basketball team did not compete during the 2020-21 season.

Craig, a 2011 UAF alum and former Nanook basketball player, spent the last four seasons as an assistant and has high school coaching experience in Fairbanks as the West Valley’ girls head coach and the Lathrop boys’ assistant.

“I’m extremely excited and thankful to Brock Anundson for giving me the opportunity to coach at my alma mater.” Craig said. “I’m looking forward to continuing the culture that Kerri started building here.”

The first action for UAF women’s basketball in nearly two years begins with the annual Alumni Game November 6 at 2 p.m. at the Patty Center. The remainder of the 2021-22 schedule can be found on their website.

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