Our Clients:

Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Apr 12, 2024 10:37 am

BYU’s Mark Pope named coach at alma mater Kentucky

mark pope

BYU coach Mark Pope, who won a national title as a player with Kentucky, will return to his alma mater and succeed John Calipari as head coach, Wildcats athletic director Mitch Barnhart announced Friday.

“The University of Kentucky is the pinnacle of coaching in college basketball. It’s the definition of a blueblood program where hanging a banner is the expectation ever year,” Pope said Friday in a statement. “Equally as important, UK changed my life forever as a human being. The love and passion I have for this program, this University and the people of the Commonwealth goes to the depth of my soul.”

Pope, 51, who played two seasons with Kentucky, including the 1995-96 national championship team, guided BYU to two NCAA Tournament appearances in five seasons and posted a 110-52 record.

In the just-concluded season, the Cougars’ first in the Big 12, BYU went 23-11 overall and 10-8 in the conference. The sixth-seeded Cougars were upset by No. 11 seed Duquesne in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Pope, a 6-foot-10 forward/center who played parts of six NBA seasons, began his coaching career at Georgia as an assistant for the 2009-10 season. He moved on to the same role at Wake Forest (2010-11) and BYU (2011-15) before becoming head coach at Utah Valley (2015-19), where he went 77-56 in four seasons.

“Mark Pope not only brings an impressive record in nine years as a head coach, but also a love of the University of Kentucky and a complete understanding of what our program means to the people of our state,” Barnhart said. “As a head coach, he is highly regarded nationally as an innovator. His teams run a unique and dynamic up-tempo offense and they get after it on defense. He is a strong recruiter with international ties and a person of integrity.

“He fully embraces our high expectations and standards and I know that as our fans get reacquainted with Mark, they will be eager to join him on what promises to be an exciting ride.”

Calipari left for Arkansas after making four Final Four appearances and winning a national title in 2012 as coach of Kentucky, where he went 410-123. This season, Kentucky went 23-10 overall and 13-5 in the Southeastern Conference but was upset by No. 14 seed Oakland in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Baylor’s Scott Drew, UConn’s Dan Hurley, Alabama’s Nate Oats and former Villanova coach Jay Wright publicly said they weren’t interested in the Kentucky position.

Former college coach Billy Donovan, an ex-Kentucky assistant who is now head coach of the Chicago Bulls, said he was committed to his current role.

–Field Level Media

You may also like

kamilla cardoso
May 22, 2024 1:05 am

Sky C Kamilla Cardoso to debut June 1

Chicago Sky center Kamilla Cardoso, the No. 3 overall pick in last month’s WNBA draft, is hoping to make her season debut on June 1. Cardoso has been dealing with…

Los Angeles Sparks logo
May 22, 2024 12:44 am

Sparks edge Mystics in battle of winless teams

Lexie Brown had 20 points and six assists and Cameron Brink blocked her fourth shot of the night in the game’s final second as the Los Angeles Sparks notched a…

wnba, logo
May 22, 2024 12:35 am

Kahleah Copper continues scoring spree as Mercury sink Aces

Kahleah Copper had another big night with 37 points on 15-of-23 shooting as the Phoenix Mercury went on the road and beat the host Las Vegas Aces 98-88 on Tuesday…

More Basketball News

kamilla cardoso
May 22, 2024 1:05 am

Sky C Kamilla Cardoso to debut June 1

Chicago Sky center Kamilla Cardoso, the No. 3 overall pick in last month’s WNBA draft, is hoping to make her season debut on June 1. Cardoso has been dealing with…

Los Angeles Sparks logo
May 22, 2024 12:44 am

Sparks edge Mystics in battle of winless teams

wnba, logo
May 22, 2024 12:35 am

Kahleah Copper continues scoring spree as Mercury sink Aces

celtics
May 21, 2024 11:23 pm

Celtics survive Pacers in OT to take Game 1 of East finals

wnba ball view
May 21, 2024 10:08 pm

Allisha Gray helps Dream win home opener over Wings

Read all
fb-post
advertisment
title-icon

Upcoming events

See all odds