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Sawyer Takes Reins Of Alaska Women's Basketball Program
Alaska will be Brett Sawyer's first head coaching assignment, Before his tenure in Fairbanks. Sawyer spent four years as an assistant at Snow College in Utah.
Alaska will be Brett Sawyer's first head coaching assignment, Before his tenure in Fairbanks. Sawyer spent four years as an assistant at Snow College in Utah.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
by Alaska Athletic Communications

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – Alaska Nanooks Director of Athletics Dr. Gary Gray announced the immediate hiring of Brett Sawyer as the interim head coach for the Alaska Nanooks women's basketball team. Sawyer will replace former head coach Cody Bench or the upcoming 2017-18 season after serving under Bench as the team's assistant coach for the past two seasons.

"I am excited for the opportunity to coach such a great program in a highly competitive conference," Sawyer said. "I am grateful for the support my wife Kimberly has given me, along with all of those have helped me along the way, including Dr. Gray and the entirety of Nanook Nation. I would like to thank Coach Bench for bringing me on the staff two years ago, her support throughout this transition and most importantly, for being a great mentor to me."

Sawyer becomes the 12th head coach in Alaska women's basketball history after helping the Nanooks to two of their best seasons in recent years. In his first year on the bench (2015-16), the Nooks went 12-18 overall before going 13-14 overall this past season (2016-17), barely missing a trip to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships in late February.

Following the 2016-17 season, the Alaska women's basketball team posted double-digit wins for their third-straight season (2014-17), recorded a winning home record for the second-straight season (2015-17) and their nine conference wins this past year marks the most GNAC victories for the Nanooks in 12 seasons.

"I'm glad that Brett has accepted our offer to serve as interim head women's basketball coach for next season," Gray said. "He will help keep the continuity within the program as we move forward. His strong recruiting skills will be helpful in the off season and I'm confident he is ready for the challenge. I'm really looking forward to continue working with him."

Prior to joining the Nanooks, Sawyer posted a four-year stint as an assistant coach at Snow College, a National Junior College Athletic Association affiliate in Ephraim, Utah. During Sawyer's tenure with the Badgers, the team was consistently ranked inside the top-20 of the NJCAA rankings and guided the team as high as No. 12 in the NJCAA during the 2014-15 campgain. Sawyer also helped Snow win its first-ever NJCAA Region 18 Championship during his first season and collected a pair of 20-win seasons in his four years.

Before his time at Snow College, Sawyer was the head coach for the Utah Dimondbacks Varsity team from 2009-13, where he helped 13 players move on to the collegiate level. He guided the Dimondbacks to the 2013 Big MTN Jam Gold Bracket championship title.

Sawyer graduated cum laude from the Utah State in 2015 with a Bachelor's degree in business administration. Prior to coaching, Sawyer served in the Army National Guard from 2002-08 where he served a combat deployment in Ramadi, Iraq, from 2005-06. A decorated soldier, Sawyer was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Combat Action badge and the Army Acheivement medal.

Sawyer resides in Fairbanks with his wife, Kimberly, who also works at the Alaska Nanooks Department of Athletics as the assistant athletic director for facilities and ticketing, and their two sons Brody and Peyton.

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