BYU COUGARS

Mark Pope calls Kentucky job ‘pinnacle of coaching in college basketball’

Apr 12, 2024, 8:22 AM | Updated: 10:04 am

BYU Coach Mark Pope moving to KY...

Kentucky officially hired former BYU headman Mark Pope as its head coach. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – Mark Pope to Kentucky is official.

The Kentucky Wildcats announced Mark Pope as their 23rd head coach on Friday morning. This concludes his five-year tenure at BYU, which began in 2019.

Kentucky officially hires Mark Pope

Kentucky pursued coaches such as Baylor’s Scott Drew and reportedly UConn’s Dan Hurley. But they zeroed in on Pope, a former captain and alum of Kentucky royalty, the 1996 National Championship team.

“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,” Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said in a statement. “As a captain on the ‘96 championship team, Mark was a beloved and respected teammate. 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.”

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Mark Pope calls Kentucky job ‘pinnacle of coaching in college basketball’