Hart, Fueger added to Kentucky Basketball Staff

Jason Hart and Cody Fueger have been added to Mark Pope’s new staff at Kentucky as assistant men’s basketball coaches. Here are the official releases on each hire:


Kentucky men’s basketball head coach Mark Pope has named Jason Hart, a nine-year NBA veteran with extensive coaching experience at the high school, collegiate and professional levels, to his inaugural staff it was announced on Monday.

“Jason Hart is everything as a coach that he was as a player,” Pope said. “He has boundless energy. He’s fearless. He is stubborn. But he has endless joy and love for this game and our players.

“He has all of the grit that you’d expect from a big-time Syracuse point guard, and he earned everything he got in his decade-long NBA career through pure blood, sweat and tears. Jason is going to win over Kentucky players and Kentucky fans in about 10 seconds. I’m thrilled to welcome Jason, Brandi and their family to UK.”

Hart most recently served as the head coach of the NBA’s G-League Ignite squad, coaching the likes of Jaden Hardy, Scoot Henderson, Matas Buzelis and Ron Holland.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join the Big Blue Nation,” Hart said. “I’ve played and coached at every level of basketball and there is not a more passionate fan base than this one. I will give every ounce of energy to our players and this program, and I can’t wait to get started. I want to thank Mitch Barnhart and Mark Pope for their confidence in me, and I want to say a special thanks to my family for their continued support.”

A nine-year NBA veteran, he is also a member of Syracuse’s All-Century Team, which honored the top 25 players in the program’s history. In 2011, Syracuse awarded him the Vic Hanson Medal of Excellence.

Hart concluded his collegiate playing career (1997-2000) as the program’s all-time leader in steals (329) and ranked second all-time in assists (709). He also shares the Syracuse record for most steals in a season with 101 set in 1999. In his four seasons at Syracuse, Hart helped lead the Orange to the NCAA Tournament three times and the NIT one time. During his sophomore and senior seasons Syracuse advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.

He was picked in the second round of the 2000 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, where he was teammates with Pope for one season.

Hart played for Milwaukee, San Antonio, Charlotte, the Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento, Utah, Denver, New Orleans and Minnesota. Four times his teams qualified for the NBA Playoffs. During the 2004-05 season with Charlotte, he was third in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio. Hart also played a season in Greece.

Hart retired in December of 2010 and began coaching on the AAU circuit. He then was named the head coach at Taft High and led the Toreadors to a 29-4 record, the Los Angeles City Section Division I title, the second round of the Division I state championships and a perfect 10-0 record in league play. He was named the L.A. City Coach of the Year.

A Southern California native, Hart joined the Ignite following a nine-year assistant coaching career. He began his collegiate coaching career at Pepperdine in 2012 before joining Andy Enfield’s staff at Southern Cal for the 2013-14 season. He was promoted to associate head coach beginning in 2017-18, continuing through the 2020-21 season.

In eight seasons with the Trojans, he was an instrumental piece to a staff that helped recruit and develop five NBA draft selections and advance to three NCAA Tournament appearances.

USC’s 2019 freshman class was ranked No. 7 by 247Sports.com. Hart was selected to participate in the inaugural Collegiate Coaching Consortium, a collaboration between the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and AthleticDirectorU held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after the 2019 season. This program is designed to help train and develop the next great group of leaders in the basketball coaching profession.

In all, Southern Cal amassed a 157-110 record with Hart on the staff. The Trojans strung together five 20-win seasons and four postseason appearances, including an appearance in the NCAA Elite Eight in 2021.

Hart graduated from Syracuse in 2000 with a degree in sociology. He and his wife, Brandi, have two children, Jason and Justin.


The Kentucky men’s basketball team has added the first piece to Mark Pope’s coaching staff with the hiring of Cody Fueger (pronounced FEE-gurr) as assistant coach it was announced on Monday.

“Cody Fueger and I have been together for 11 years now,” Pope said. “I’ll never forget taking the job together at Utah Valley and trying to imagine how we were going to build a program that had just recently moved into Division I. If you had told us we were going to get to walk into the Joe Craft Center and coach at Rupp Arena, neither of us would have ever believed it.

“Cody is one of the most innovative offensive minds in all of college basketball. He has a grounded, wild creativity that is pushing the envelope in how this game is growing. He has been the most loyal friend who has delivered in massive ways for our team. Cody builds incredible relationships with our players and nothing makes me happier than having him, Danielle and their family join the Big Blue Nation.”

Fueger has been a nine-year member of Pope’s staffs, first serving as an assistant coach at Utah Valley and then transitioning to BYU. The connection began when they were on the BYU staff together when Pope was an assistant coach and Fueger served as the director of basketball operations.

“I am extremely excited to be joining the storied Kentucky men’s basketball program,” Fueger said. “I want to thank Mitch Barnhart, Mark Pope and the entire UK staff for this opportunity. I also want to thank my family for their continued love and support.

I look forward to continuing to work with Coach Pope as we chase banners and carry on the tradition at this premier program. Helping players grow on and off the court has always been a passion of mine, and I’m honored to get to continue that passion with the greatest fan base in the country.”

Fueger began his career as a student assistant coach and video coordinator at Utah under Rick Majerus. Following graduation, Fueger served as the director of basketball operations at Louisiana Tech (2007-11), UC Riverside (2011-12), Utah State (2012-13) and BYU (2013-15) before being elevated to assistant coach under Pope at Utah Valley in 2015.

Named one of the most impactful mid-major assistant coaches in Division I men’s basketball by Silver Waves Media in 2022 and 2023, Fueger has been instrumental for Pope’s squads. BYU ranked 14th in offensive efficiency in 2023-24, while ranking third in the nation in made 3s and assists per game. The Cougars led the Big 12 in scoring at 81.4 per game in their first season in the conference. Picked to finish last in the preseason selections, BYU capped the regular season in fifth with wins over No. 7 Kansas, No. 11 Baylor and No. 24 Iowa State.

Under Fueger’s tutelage, Jaxson Robinson was named the Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year after pacing BYU in scoring off the bench at 14.2 points per game.

In all, Fueger and the Cougars went 110-52 during five seasons, with three postseason appearances, including two trips to the NCAA Tournament. Three of those five teams concluded the season ranked inside the top 20 of the Ken Pomeroy efficiency rankings.

At Utah Valley, the Wolverines increased their win total during every season with Fueger on the staff. They finished 25-10 overall and were runners-up in the Western Athletic Conference in 2018-19 with the 25 wins marking a program record. Furthermore, Utah Valley enjoyed a 30-2 mark at home and made three straight postseason appearances from 2017-19. Wyatt Lowell was tabbed the WAC Freshman of the Year in 2019, while Jake Toolson earned WAC Player of the Year.

As director of operations at BYU, the Cougars made consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament and had seasons with 23 wins in 2013-14 and 25 in 2014-15.

Fueger and his wife, Danielle, have three children, Isabella, Andrew and Ana. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s in parks, recreation and tourism-sports management from Utah.

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