MENS BASKETBALL

Mark Pope named head coach at BYU

Mark Pope is returning to BYU as the Cougars' new head coach with the task of elevating a program that hasn't earned an NCAA Tournament berth since 2015.

The school announced Wednesday that it was naming Pope to replace Dave Rose, who retired in March after 14 seasons at the helm of the Cougars program. Pope was an assistant under Rose from 2011 to 2015 before leaving to take the top job at Utah Valley.

He emerged as the leading candidate at BYU after his successful stint at Utah Valley, where he compiled a 77-56 record over four seasons. Pope led Utah Valley to CBI Tournament appearances in each of his final three seasons with the school. He also had stints as an assistant coach at Georgia and Wake Forest.

"This place is like nowhere else," Pope said. "It is a beacon on a hill and it is such an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to be the head men's basketball coach here at BYU. I couldn't be more proud or more excited. There is a standard of excellence here in everything that happens on this campus."

Pope plans to recruit and schedule aggressively at BYU. He faces the expectations of trying to raise up a program that hasn't won a conference title since joining the West Coast Conference in 2011 and hasn't earned an NCAA Tournament berth since 2015.

"We'll be fearless in everything we do," Pope said. "We'll take our lumps and we'll jump back off the mat and, with confidence, go on to the next battle. Our team will be a team that's not afraid of failure."

Pope was a member of Kentucky's 1996 national championship team, He played two seasons with the Wildcats after transferring to the school from Washington. He earned Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors in 1992 after setting a freshman single-season record with 8.1 rebounds per game in his debut season for the Huskies.

After graduating from Kentucky, Pope was selected by the Indiana Pacers in the second round of the 1996 NBA draft. The 6-foot-10 center played seven seasons in the league with the Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, and Denver Nuggets.

"There was a good pool of candidates for this job," BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said. "I really think he just stood out as the one who was the right coach for this job."

Associated Press



April 10, 2019

Men's Basketball
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  Matthew Hurt commits to Duke
  Chris Harris Jr commits to Oklahoma State
  Jay Ladner named Southern Miss coach
  Texas State extends Kaspar through 2023
  ODU extends basketball coach Jeff Jones 2 years
  Harlond Beverly commits to Miami
  John Brannen named Cincinnati men's basketball coach
  Cashius McNeilly commits to Texas A&M
  Auburn signs Bruce Pearl to five-year contract
  Austin Crowley commits to Mississippi
  Air Force signs Pilipovich to three-year extension
  Steve Alford named Nevada head coach
  Southern Miss coach Doc Sadler steps down
  Mark Pope named head coach at BYU
  UCLA hires Cincinnati's Mick Cronin as basketball coach
  Virginia 85, Texas Tech 77
  Mike Young named Virginia Tech head coach
  Arkansas names Eric Musselman men's basketball coach
  Minnesota extends Pitino
  Texas Tech 61, Michigan State 51
  Virginia 63, Auburn 62
  Buffalo promotes Whitesell to take over basketball program
  Jerry Stackhouse new head coach at Vanderbilt
  Georgia State hires Tennessee assistant Rob Lanier as coach