BYU’s Pope receives contract extension

Photo Courtesy BYU Athletics

BYU Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe announced today a contract extension has been finalized for BYU head men’s basketball coach Mark Pope that extends through the 2026-27 season.

“Mark is a proven leader and a builder of strong teams that will continue to represent BYU well,” Holmoe said. “His unique abilities to recruit, develop and refine are the attributes any school would love for their coaches to possess, and we are so glad to have him here.”

Within the contract discussions, and in an effort to help BYU Athletics with budget concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pope elected to defer increased compensation in the new contract into future years.

“I love BYU, I love what this university stands for, I love Cougar Nation, and I love this team,” Pope said. “I have never had an experience in my basketball career quite like last season. What we were able to accomplish, considering the circumstances we found ourselves in, was remarkable, and there’s so much more to come. This is a program where we can win, and win big. Lee Anne and I are filled with gratitude to announce this contract extension, and we’re just getting started.”

Last season, his first as head coach at BYU, Pope led the Cougars to a record of 24-8, the most wins for a first-year coach in program history. He led the team 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. The Cougars jumped into the Top 25 for the first time since 2010-11, climbing as high as No. 14. Pope is the second coach in program history to lead the Cougars to the Top 25 in his first season.

Pope was named the USBWA District VIII Coach of the Year and was a semifinalist for the Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s Coach of the Year. He coached three All-WCC First Team honorees and led 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.

Pope’s coaching career has included stints as director of basketball operations at Georgia, assistant coach at Wake Forest, assistant coach at BYU, head coach at Utah Valley and head coach at BYU. 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.

Pope is the 19th head men’s basketball coach in BYU history, dating back to the inaugural season in 1902-03.

Pope and the Cougars start up the 2020-21 season this week with games Wednesday at 6 p.m. MST vs. Westminster, Thursday at 7 p.m. MST vs. New Orleans and Saturday at 7 p.m. vs. Utah Valley in the UCCU Crosstown Clash.

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