Update: 4/10/19, 12:46 p.m. MDT — BYU Basketball tweeted “Welcome back coach” with a graphic of Mark Pope Wednesday afternoon. It’s officially official. Mark Pope is BYU Basketball’s next head coach. There will be a press conference Wed. at 3 p.m. MDT on BYUtv.
Utah Valley University head coach Mark Pope was the favorite going in to BYU basketball’s search, and it appears that the former BYU assistant will be back in Provo as head men’s basketball head coach.
According to multiple reports and sources of Vanquish the Foe, Mark Pope will be named the head coach at BYU before the week’s end. Dick Harmon of the Deseret News reported that the announcement could happen anytime between Wednesday and Friday.
Pope is a former assistant of Dave Rose and has a 77-56 record in four seasons as head coach at UVU. He led the Wolverines to the two best seasons in school history. UVU finished the 2018-19 season with a school-record 25 wins.
Prior to UVU, Pope was an assistant coach at BYU from 2011-2015. He had one-year stops as an assistant at Wake Forest and Georgia before that.
As a player, he was a member of Kentucky’s 1996 National Championship team then played for six seasons in the NBA.
Pope, often referred to as a “player’s coach,” has had success bringing in transfers at UVU, which is something he could try to replicate at BYU. He was the guy that brought Chase Fischer to BYU, so he does have some experience bringing transfers to Provo. BYU’s admission standards and honor code could make things tricky if Pope is to make transfers the foundation of his recruiting philosophy, but tapping into the transfer market would no doubt factor into bringing new talent into Provo.
Pope hasn’t been a slouch in bringing high school kids either, as freshman Wyatt Lowell was a 4-star recruit coming out of high and was named 2018-2019 WAC newcomer of the year.
Stay tuned to Vanquish the Foe for the official announcement, but it seems as though there is white smoke coming from the Marriott Center — a new Pope has been named.