Mark Pope
Head Men's Basketball Coach
Phone
(801) 422-3612
Office
MCA 218


Career Highlights

  • Led BYU to a record of 24-8 in his first season as head coach, the most wins for a first-year coach in program history
  • Named the USBWA District VIII Coach of the Year
  • Named the best hire in 2019-20 by Matt Norlander from CBS Sports
  • A semifinalist for the Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s Coach of the Year
  • Led BYU back into the top 25 for the first time since 2010-11 with a No. 23 ranking on Feb. 17 and the Cougars jumped to as high as No. 14 and finished No. 18/16 in the AP/USA Today Coaches Polls
  • Is only the second coach in program history to lead the Cougars into the top 25 in his first season and the first to finish his first season ranked in the top 25
  • Coached three All-WCC First Team honorees in Yoeli Childs, TJ Haws and Jake Toolson in 2019-20
  • Guided BYU to national rankings of No. 1 in 3-point field goal percentage, No. 2 in assist/turnover ratio, No. 3 in field goal percentage, No. 4 in 3-point field goals per game and No. 5 in assists per game
  • Led BYU to a win over No. 2 Gonzaga in the Marriott Center, the highest ranked team the Cougars have defeated in the Marriott Center's history
  • As head coach of Utah Valley from 2015-19, led the Wolverines to a record of 77-56
  • Led Utah Valley to three-straight bids to the College Basketball Invitational (2017, 2018, 2019), including a trip to the semifinals in 2017
  • Coached the Wolverines to 23 and 25 wins in 2017-18 and 2018-19, the first back-to-back 20-win seasons in Utah Valley history
  • Utah Valley's 25 wins in 2018-19 are a school record
  • Coached the 2019 Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year
  • Utah Valley was 30-2 at home from 2017-19
  • Led the Wolverines to 22-straight home wins from 2017-19, the nation's second-longest active home win streak at the time and the longest home win streak in school history
  • In 2018-19 led Utah Valley to its first-ever preseason tournament title as the Wolverines won the MGM Main Event Middleweight Championship in Las Vegas
  • Helped create and organize the #Toughest24 as Utah Valley opened the 2017-18 season playing at No. 4 Kentucky and at No. 1 Duke on back-to-back nights
  • As an assistant to Dave Rose at BYU from 2011-15, helped BYU to at record of 98-43, three NCAA tournament appearances and a trip to the semifinals of the NIT

Coaching Experience

  • BYU Head Coach (2019-present)
  • Utah Valley Head Coach (2015-19)
  • BYU Assistant Coach (2011-2015)
  • Wake Forest Assistant Coach (2010-11)
  • Georgia Director of Basketball Operations (2009-10)

Education

  • Kentucky (1996, B.A. in English)
  • Completed two years of medical school at Columbia University in New York
  • Newport HS in Bellevue, Wash. (1991)

Playing Career

  • Played freshman and sophomore seasons at Washington (1991-93)
  • Earned Pac 10 All-Academic honors as a sophomore
  • Played junior and senior seasons at Kentucky (1994-96)
  • Helped Kentucky to SEC title and Elite Eight run while earning Academic All-SEC honors in 1995
  • Helped Kentucky to SEC title and NCAA National Championship as a team captain in 1996
  • Drafted in the second round of the 1996 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers
  • Played the 1996-97 season for Efes Pilsen in Turkey
  • Played for the Indiana Pacers under Larry Bird from 1997-99 and helped the Pacers to the 1998 Eastern Conference Finals
  • Played for the La Crosse Bobcats of the CBA and Ulkerspor in Turkey in 1999-00
  • Played for the Milwaukee Bucks under coach George Karl from 2000-02 and helped the Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2001
  • Spent the 2002-03 season on injured reserve with the New York Knicks
  • Played for the Denver Nuggets from 2003-05

Personal/Family

  • Wife: Lee Anne
  • Daughters: Ella, Avery, Layla and Shay

Mark Pope was hired as head men’s basketball coach at BYU on April 10, 2019. He is the 19th head men’s basketball coach since the Cougars’ inaugural season in 1902-03. Pope came to Provo after serving as head coach at Utah Valley University for the previous four seasons.

In his first season as BYU's head coach, Pope led the Cougars to a record of 24-8, the most wins for a first-year coach in program history. He became just the second first-year BYU coach to lead his team into the top 25 and the first to end his debut season ranked. The Cougars entered the top 25 as No. 23 in the AP Poll on Feb. 17 and jumped to as high as No. 14. BYU ended the season at No. 18 in the AP Poll and No. 16 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

In league play, Pope guided the Cougars to a record of 13-3, second in the West Coast Conference. The 13 wins – which included a 91-78 victory over No. 2 Gonzaga in the Marriott Center – are tied for the most by BYU since joining the WCC in 2011. Gonzaga was the highest-ranked team BYU has defeated in the history of the Marriott Center. The Cougars finished the regular season on a nine-game win streak, the team's longest win streak in WCC play.

BYU boasted one of the most efficient offenses in the nation in 2019-20, evidenced by top 5 national rankings in several statistical categories. The Cougars finished the season ranked No. 1 in 3-point field goal percentage, No. 2 in assist/turnover ratio, No. 3 in field goal percentage, No. 4 in 3-point field goals per game and No. 5 in assists per game. In addition to the national rankings, BYU set program records for 3-point field goals in a single-game, 3-point field goals in a single season and 3-point field goals per game for a season.

In addition to the team success, three players earned All-WCC First Team honors in Yoeli Childs, TJ Haws and Jake Toolson. Childs also earned first-team All-District honors from the USBWA and NABC and was a Senior CLASS Award second-team All-American. Haws earned a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team and Toolson was named the WCC Newcomer of the Year.

Pope’s coaching career has included stints as an assistant coach at Georgia, Wake Forest and BYU before he was named the head coach at Utah Valley. As a player, Pope helped Kentucky win the 1996 NCAA National Title before enjoying a professional career that included stints in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets.

“I’d like to thank the BYU administration,” Pope said at his introductory press conference. “It’s been an unbelievable opportunity for me to go through this process and see the vision. This place is like nowhere else. It’s such an honor and privilege to be the head basketball coach at BYU. There’s a standard of excellence on this campus and with this program. Those high expectations are one of the things that excites me the most about being here.”

In four years at Utah Valley, Pope’s Wolverine teams made improvements each season, going from 12 wins in 2015-16 to 25 victories in 2018-19. He also led Utah Valley to three-straight postseason appearances (2017, 2018, 2019) and back-to-back 20-win seasons (2017-18, 2018-19)—both are Wolverine records.

The 2018-19 season was highlighted by a program-record 25 wins and an 11-4 non-conference record, the best non-league record in UVU history. His team finished 14-1 at home and owned a 22-game home win streak — also a Wolverine record and the second-longest streak in the country at the time. In addition to the team success, Pope coached the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year.

Pope’s 2017-18 campaign finished with a 23-11 record, including the best home mark in school history of 16-1. The season began with what was known as the #Toughest24 as Pope and the Wolverines opened on the road at No. 4 Kentucky and No. 1 Duke on consecutive nights. That season ended with a trip to the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational.

In 2016-17, Pope led Utah Valley to 17 wins and a trip to the CBI. The Wolverines won a pair of road games — the school’s first-ever postseason victories — to reach the semifinals of the CBI.

While on Dave Rose’s staff at BYU from 2011-15, Pope helped the Cougars to four-straight 20-win seasons and four-straight postseason appearances – including three bids to the NCAA Tournament and trip to the semifinals of the 2013 NIT. Prior to coaching at BYU, Pope was director of basketball operations for Mark Fox at Georgia in 2009-10 and an assistant under Jeff Bzdelik at Wake Forest in 2010-11.

A 6-foot-10 post player, Pope helped Kentucky claim the 1996 NCAA National Championship and enjoyed a nine-year professional career that included seven seasons in the NBA and two in Turkey. Pope was drafted in the second round of the 1996 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. Following the draft, Pope played his first season as a professional in Turkey for Efes Pilsen. He then played two seasons for the Indiana Pacers under head coach Larry Bird and helped the Pacers to the 1998 Eastern Conference Finals.

In 1999-00, Pope split time between the La Crosse Bobcats of the CBA and Ulkerspor in Turkey. He returned to the NBA the next season, playing for the Milwaukee Bucks under head coach George Karl. In 2000-01, he started 45 games and helped the Bucks reach the Eastern Conference Finals. After two seasons with the Bucks, Pope spent the 2002-03 season on injured reserve with the New York Knicks. He concluded his NBA career playing two seasons with the Denver Nuggets from 2003-05.

Pope began his collegiate career playing at Washington. As a freshman in 1991-92, he earned Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors after setting a Washington freshman single-season record with 8.1 rebounds per game. He earned All-Academic honors from the Pac-10 as a sophomore in 1992-93.

Following his sophomore season, Pope transferred to Kentucky where he played for Rick Pitino. After redshirting in 1993-94, Pope helped the Wildcats win back-to-back SEC titles, advance to the NCAA Elite Eight in 1995 and win the NCAA National Championship in 1996. He averaged 7.6 points and 5.2 rebounds and was a team captain during Kentucky's championship season. Pope earned Academic All-SEC honors in 1995 and graduated from Kentucky with a degree in English in 1996.

Before joining the basketball staff at Georgia, Pope completed two years of medical school at Columbia University in New York. He did much of his pre-med course work while playing in the NBA. Pope and his wife Lee Anne have four daughters: Ella, Avery, Layla and Shay. Lee Anne worked at ESPN before serving as David Letterman's personal assistant for four years.

BYU Hall of Fame