Jack Burgess takes on as assistant coaching role at Casademont Zaragoza
Former Scotland basketball player and coach, Jack Burgess, is embarking on an exciting new chapter in his career, bringing his expertise to an assistant coaching role at ACB team Casademont Zaragoza in Spain.
Securing a coaching position in Spain’s premier division is a remarkable accomplishment for any Scottish individual. This achievement is a testament to Jack’s love for basketball and it reflects his willingness to step beyond his comfort zone and explore the how far he can go in the game.
Jack’s first full-time coaching job was at a club in Mallorca called Esporles. The opportunity arose unexpectedly when the club’s president saw him coaching at a camp in Inverness during his family holiday. Willing to embrace challenge and immerse himself in a different culture, Jack took the initiative to learn Spanish. Afterwards, he joined Zaragoza’s professional team as a youth team coach, where he spent three successful seasons before venturing to Australia to work as a video analyst with the Brisbane Bullets in the National Basketball League. This experience allowed Jack to gain a fresh perspective on the game from a different angle and expand his skillset.
Continuing his coaching journey, Jack later returned to the UK to work with the British Basketball League’s Newcastle Eagles and, proving his desire to maximise every opportunity, gratefully accepted the chance to serve as an assistant coach for the Cameroon National Team during the FIBA World Cup Qualifying campaign. Even during periods when he wasn’t coaching a team, Jack’s dedication to learning remained evident, as he spent time observing and taking notes during Casademont Zaragoza’s practices. This dedication caught the attention of the head coach, who offered him a position on the coaching staff—an opportunity Jack eagerly embraced.
“The biggest thing is being open to opportunities. You never know if you’ll get another chance, so you’ve got to be ready to take risks.” Jack commented when asked if he had any advice for coaches who would like to follow a similar path to his own. “It’s also important to make contacts and to put yourself in positions to get those opportunities. Go and watch training sessions, speak to coaches, go to basketball events… Stay positive and keep learning!”
Despite reaching high in his coaching career, Jack’s journey in basketball actually began with him on the court himself. After starting playing at high school with friends, Jack’s skills, understanding and love for the game led him to join Falkirk Fury before continuing his basketball education at Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas, USA. After his time in America, he returned to Scotland and became involved in the Glasgow Rocks rookie programme – where young players trained with the professional team. This experience opened doors for Jack, as the head coach, Sterling Davis, recognised his potential and incorporated him into the professional team.
While playing for the team was a dream come true, Jack realised that his future lay in coaching rather than playing. He passionately researched different coaching paths, leading him to pursue a degree in Sport Studies. Subsequently, he began coaching with the youth teams at Stirling Knights and Stirling University, discovering his deep love for mentoring and guiding young players. “I loved it and just wanted to improve every day to try to make my players and teams better!” He sought opportunities to learn and improve constantly, attending coaching camps and clinics to gain valuable experience.
In 2013, Jack was given the chance to be an assistant coach for the Scotland U14 national team, and the following year, he became the head coach. These teams competed in basketballscotland’s Summer Slam tournaments, where, interestingly, one of their rivals was a team from Zaragoza.
Now, with his passion, expertise and determination, Jack is set to make a significant impact on Casademont Zaragoza. His journey from player to coach demonstrates his commitment to the game and showcases his pursuit of excellence in every aspect of basketball.