Burzis Kanga, a skilled tennis coach with a passion for the game, has an interesting connection to the world of television through his former marriage to Hoda Kotb. Hoda, the friendly and familiar face as the main co-anchor on NBC News’ morning show, “Today,” brings a lively energy to the screen each day.

Kanga brings a rich cultural background to his journey through life, having been born in the vibrant and diverse country of Tanzania. Exploring the roots of his birthplace opens a window into the cultural tapestry that has shaped the tennis coach with a fascinating story to tell.

The Failed Married To Hoda Kotb

Despite the challenges that life threw their way, Burzis Kanga and Hoda Kotb shared a chapter of their lives in matrimony from December 3, 2005, to February 6, 2008. The timeline of their marriage, unfortunately, was marked by a poignant parallel. In 2007, as she filed for divorce, she also faced a significant personal battle with a breast cancer diagnosis.

Hoda Kotb is hosting her TV show, whilst wearing a blue dress.
Hoda Kotb hosting the Today show (Source: Entertainment Tonight YouTube Channel)

Kanga’s life took an unexpected turn after 26 years of urban living in the bustling city where time moves swiftly, i.e., New York City. Fate wove its threads when he crossed paths with the charismatic Kotb at a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. Perhaps the city, with its myriad of stories and diverse characters, had been patiently waiting for the right moment to bring these two lives together.

The Unfortunate Divorce

Burzis found himself grappling with not just the complexities of separation but also with the added weight of familial illness. As the threads of his marriage unraveled, he faced the challenge of his father falling ill, adding another layer of emotional turmoil to an already difficult time. Reflecting on the period, he shared that it was a challenging juncture with both his father’s health decline and Hoda’s brave battle against breast cancer.

The unpredictability of life seemed to converge on multiple fronts, leaving Kanga in a state of surprise at Kotb’s decision to end their marriage. Acknowledging his shortcomings, he attributed some of the difficulties to what he described as “a level of immaturity” on his part, as reported in Closer Weekly. He recognized the pace of life in New York, where both he and his ex-wife were immersed, as a contributing factor to the separation.

Net Worth Status

Hoda Kotb’s ex-husband, Burzis Kanga has carved out a financially stable niche for himself, with a net worth estimated at $1 million. It has come primarily through his passion for tennis coaching. As a dedicated coach at The University of New Orleans, he channels his expertise and love for the sport to inspire and guide aspiring athletes.

Burzis Kanga is giving an interview standing on the tennis court.
Hoda Kotb’s ex-husband, Burzis Kanga in an interview (Source: UNO Privateers YouTube Channel)

While the specifics of Kanga’s salary remain undisclosed, the impact of his coaching prowess echoes in the achievements of those he mentors. Beyond the numerical value of his net worth, his true wealth lies in the knowledge and skills he imparts to the next generation of tennis enthusiasts.

Works As A Tennis Coach

Kanga has spent over 15 years shaping the futures of aspiring tennis players. He is the head coach of the University of New Orleans. His role goes beyond the title. He is a mentor, a strategist, and a driving force behind the men’s and women’s tennis teams. The tennis court becomes his canvas, where he skillfully paints a picture of teamwork, resilience, and a passion for the game.

Burzis’ commitment to tennis extends beyond the court, evident in his impressive qualifications and contributions to the sports community. Holding the United States Tennis Association Professional 1 certification, he stands as a testament to his expertise and dedication to the craft of coaching. Beyond his accomplishments, he has been a longstanding Board Member of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation. This role not only highlights his passion for sports but also positions him as a key player in the local sports community.

Some Of Kanga’s Accomplishments

Burzis’s journey in the world of sports is adorned with noteworthy achievements that speak volumes about his prowess as a tennis coach and his influential role in shaping the athletic landscape. One of his outstanding accomplishments includes clinching the Southland Coach of the Year title for three consecutive seasons, 2022, 2023 for Men, and 2021 for Women — a testament to his exceptional coaching skills and the remarkable success of the teams under his guidance, with the recognition spanning both men’s and women’s categories.

Burzis Kanga is wearing an Under Armour polo shirt.
Burzis Kanga in an interview (Source: UNO Privateers YouTube Channel)

Beyond his coaching accolades, Kanga has also left a lasting impact as the Sports Commissioner for Tennis during the 1996 AAU Junior Olympic Games. In this influential role, he not only demonstrated his organizational acumen but also played a crucial part in fostering the passion for tennis in the younger generation.

Career As A Player

Burzis Kanga first made his mark as a formidable player, before embarking on his successful career as a tennis coach. From 1980 to 1983, he proudly donned the jersey of the Privateer tennis program and showcased his exceptional skills on the court. His dedication to both academics and athletics culminated in him earning his Bachelor of Science in Business in 1984, as mentioned on UNO Privateers’ official website.

Kanga not only stood out as an academic achiever but also claimed the top spot as the best player in Louisiana for the under-21 age group during his tenure with the UNO team. Venturing beyond collegiate play, he took his talents to the professional stage, competing on the satellite tennis circuits across the USA, Europe, and the country of Santiago Rulli Galliano, Mexico.

The Lakefront became witness to Kanga’s prowess, where he notched an impressive 81-9 record. Notably, he etched his name in the UNO tennis record books as the sole member of either team to achieve All-American honors, a feat he accomplished during his senior year. His journey from a standout player to a revered coach is a narrative woven with passion, skill, and a commitment to excellence on and off the tennis court.

Kanga’s Tennis Journey and Life Beyond New Orleans

In the expansive narrative of Burzis Kanga’s tennis journey and his life extending beyond the familiar bounds of New Orleans, significant chapters unfold. After bringing the 1988 Virginia Slims of New Orleans tournament to the Chateau Golf and Country Club in Kenner, he assumed the role of Director of Tennis and Head Teaching Professional from 1989 to 2006.

During this period, Kanga’s influence extended beyond coaching, as he undertook the ambitious task of restoring the University Tennis Center to its former glory. The transformative efforts reached new heights in 2012 when he collaborated with Hike for KaTREEna, leading to a major beautification of the facility.

This remarkable year also witnessed the resurrection of professional women’s tennis in the city, with the PJ’s Coffee Women’s International Tennis Classic hosted at the University Tennis Center. The event marked a historic milestone as the first women’s professional tennis event in New Orleans since 1988. Kanga’s impact on the tennis landscape transcends coaching, painting a picture of revitalization, community engagement, and the triumphant return of top-tier tennis to the vibrant streets of New Orleans.

Hurricane Katrina’s Impact On Burzis Life

The tumultuous winds of Hurricane Katrina not only reshaped the landscape of New Orleans but also altered the course of Kanga’s life in profound ways. Having previously served as a coach at UNO from 1986-89 and again from 2003-06, he found himself confronting the harsh reality of the program’s hiatus in the wake of the devastating hurricane.

The storm, which struck in 2005, brought unprecedented challenges, with Kanga’s apartment succumbing to the floodwaters. In the aftermath, faced with the daunting task of rebuilding, he made the difficult decision to uproot and relocate his entire life to New York City. The hurricane not only displaced him physically but also marked a significant turning point that prompted a fresh start in a new city, before returning to doing what he loves.

 

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