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Jessie Craig Named UAF Women's Basketball Coach
Jessie Craig is in her fifth season at Alaska and has previous coaching experience at the high school level.
Jessie Craig is in her fifth season at Alaska and has previous coaching experience at the high school level.

Friday, September 17, 2021
by Alaska Athletic Communications

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – The Alaska Nanook women's basketball team and Director of Athletics Brock Anundson have announced the elevation of Jessie Craig from assistant coach to interim head coach. Craig, who enters her fifth season with the Nanooks, will carry the coaching duties following the departure of former head coach Kerri Nakamoto. 
 
On September 14, Nakamoto was named to the Santa Clara women's basketball coaching staff as an assistant, joining head coach Bill Carr's crew. Nakamoto spent the previous three years with Alaska, compiling an 11-44 record over her two seasons.
 
"We are extremely excited to elevate Coach Craig to the head coaching role," Anundson said. "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."
 
After joining the Alaska Nanooks staff in 2017, Craig spent four years as the assistant women's basketball coach under both Brett Sawyer and Nakamoto. She was responsible for player development, scouting efforts, managing day-to-day operations, both at home and on the road, and coordinated strength and conditioning programs for the team.

Prior to joining the Alaska Nanooks staff, Craig was the West Valley high school varsity girls' basketball coach. She compiled a record of 78-27 over her four years and lead the team to three state tournament appearances, capped by a second-place finish in 2015.
 
Craig also spent time from 2010-14 as the Lathrop High School boys' basketball varsity assistant coach. She helped facilitate practices while also developing strength and conditioning programs. During her time at Lathrop, the boys' team won three regional championships and had three state tournament appearances. 
 
"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."
 
Craig is a University of Alaska Fairbanks alumna, earning her Bachelor of Science in civil engineering in 2011.

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