The University of Alaska Fairbanks has announced that women’s basketball assistant coach Jessie Craig has been promoted to interim head coach for the upcoming season. Craig replaces Kerri Nakamoto, who left for an assistant position at the University of Santa Clara.
Craig is entering his fifth year with the Nanooks program. During this time, Craig was responsible for player development, scouting efforts, managing daily operations, and coordinating strength and conditioning programs for the team.
Prior to her stint with the Nanooks, Craig spent four years as the head coach of women’s basketball in West Valley. She compiled a record of 78-27, leading the Wolfpack to three state tournament appearances in 2013-14, 14-15 and 15-16, earning her 3rd, 2nd and 5th place respectively. .
Craig was also a boys varsity basketball assistant for Lathrop High School from 2010-2014. She helped facilitate practices while developing strength and conditioning programs. The Malemutes have won three regional championships and made three appearances in state tournaments during his tenure.
“I am extremely excited and grateful to Brock Anundson for giving me the opportunity to train at my alma mater,” she said. “I look forward to continuing the culture that Kerri has started to develop here. “
Nakamoto went 11-44 in two seasons at the UAF before last year’s season was called off due to Covid. She was made an assistant in Santa Clara on Tuesday and her last day with the team was September 10.
“We are extremely happy to elevate Coach Craig to the role of Head Coach,” said UAF Sporting Director Brock Anundson. “She was instrumental in Nanook’s women’s basketball as she enters her fifth year with the team. It is clear that his players have confidence in his abilities and are excited to develop under his leadership. I can’t wait to see Jessie excel this year as we embark on a new chapter in women’s basketball. With the departure of Coach Nakamoto, we wish her the best and thank her for the time she spent with Nanook Women’s Basketball.
Craig received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 2011 from UAF. The Nanooks begin their season Nov. 25 against the University of Tampa.
Contact sports editor Hart Pisani at [email protected] or 459-7530.