Kentucky Reportedly Hiring BYU’s Mark Pope As Next Head Coach

Brigham Young Cougars head coach Mark Pope

Kentucky is targeting BYU’s Mark Pope as the school’s next head coach, CBS Sports reported on Thursday. The two sides are working on an agreement, as they work to finish it before the end of Thursday night.

Kentucky Reportedly Hiring BYU’s Mark Pope As Next Head Coach

Pope, 51, played at Kentucky from 1994-1996. He was a team captain on the 1996 team that won the national title.

Pope has been the head coach at BYU for the past five seasons. Pope brought BYU to the NCAA Tournament twice, including this past season when the Cougars earned a No. 6 seed after a 23-11 record. However, BYU lost to No. 11 Duquesne in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. Pope finished with a 110-52 record at BYU.

Before BYU, Pope coached Utah Vally for four seasons, going 77-56.

Pope takes over for John Calipari, who departed Kentucky for Arkansas.

Kentucky Could Not Sign Top Targets

Before Pope, Kentucky’s top two choices were UConn’s Danny Hurley and Baylor’s Scott Drew.

Kentucky’s initial offer to Hurley was around $11 million per year, making him the highest-paid coach in the sport. However, Hurley turned down the offer for a chance at a three-peat with UConn.

Drew was Kentucky’s next choice. However, Drew also turned the job down to remain at Baylor. “We truly believe God has called my family and I to continue our work here at Baylor,” Drew said in a statement.

Alabama’s Nate Oats was rumored to be in the running for the Kentucky job. However, Oats released a statement earlier this week, saying he was committed to winning a national title with the Crimson Tide.

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