Mark Edward Pope (born September 11, 1972) is an American basketball coach and former player who is the nineteenth and current head coach of Brigham Young University's (BYU) men's basketball team. He played college basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats, where he was part of the Wildcats 1996 championship team, and the Washington Huskies, where he was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. He later played professionally in the National Basketball Association for the Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets.

Mark Pope
Mark Pope as BYU Head Coach during 2019-20 season.jpg
BYU Cougars
PositionHead coach
LeagueWest Coast Conference
Personal information
Born (1972-09-11) September 11, 1972 (age 50)
Omaha, Nebraska
Listed height6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Listed weight235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High schoolNewport (Bellevue, Washington)
NBA draft1996 / Round: 2 / Pick: 52nd overall
Selected by the Indiana Pacers
Playing career1997–2005
PositionPower forward / Small forward
Number43, 41
Coaching career2009–present
Career history
As player:
1996–1997Anadolu Efes S.K.
19971999Indiana Pacers
1999La Crosse Bobcats
20002002Milwaukee Bucks
20022003New York Knicks
20032005Denver Nuggets
As coach:
2009–2010Georgia (assistant)
2010–2011Wake Forest (assistant)
2011–2015BYU (assistant)
2015–2019Utah Valley
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points285 (1.9 ppg)
Assists63 (0.4 apg)
Rebound161 (1.7 rpg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at


Pope was a high school star at Newport High School in Bellevue, Washington and played two years at the University of Washington (UW). He earned Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors in 1992 after setting a UW freshman single-season record with 8.1 rebounds per game. He transferred to the University of Kentucky, where he was a captain of the 1996 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship team. Pope was a second round pick of the Indiana Pacers in the 1996 NBA draft. The 2004-05 season was his last, as he was cut in training camp with the Denver Nuggets the following season.

In 2006, Pope enrolled in medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. In 2009, he left medical school and joined Mark Fox's coaching staff at the University of Georgia. Fox was an assistant coach when both were at UW. The following season (2010–11), Pope moved to Wake Forest University to serve as an assistant under Jeff Bzdelik.[1]

In May 2011, Pope was hired as an assistant to Dave Rose at BYU,[2] when Dave Rice left to become the head coach at UNLV.

In March 2015, Pope was hired as the new head basketball coach at Utah Valley University (UVU), replacing the retiring Dick Hunsaker.[3]

In April 2019, Pope was hired to replace Dave Rose as head coach at BYU after Rose retired.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Pope and his wife, Lee Anne, a former assistant to talk show host David Letterman, have four daughters. Lee Anne is the daughter of the late Lynn Archibald, who was the head basketball coach at the University of Utah from 1983-1989 and was an assistant at BYU in the 1990s.[5] Pope is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

BYU head coach (2019-present)Edit

On April 10, 2019, Pope was hired as BYU's 19th head men’s basketball coach since its inaugural season in 1902-03. Pope came back to BYU after serving as the head coach at Utah Valley 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.

In league play, Pope guided the Cougars to a record of 13-3, second in the West Coast Conference (WCC). 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, T.J. 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.

The team was projected to be a lock for an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament, which would have been their first berth since 2015. However, the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the tournament and prematurely ended the successful season. BYU ended the season at No. 18 in the AP Poll and No. 16 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

Pope gained a reputation for landing transfers in the offseason, including beating out alma mater Kentucky and Texas Tech to get top transfer Matt Haarms from Purdue. He also added Nigerian native Gideon George and UVU guard Brandon Averette, who was a former player of Pope while he was coaching the Wolverines.

Pope's early success with the Cougars continued in 2020-21, although the team was distinctly different in their styles than the previous season. The 2019-20 team mainly relied on their upperclassmen and three-point shooting. While the 2020-21 team is led by their three seniors Barcello, Averette, and Haarms, the team relies more on physical play due to much more size and has a lot more players off the bench to contribute, adding much depth. The team finished 10-3 in WCC play, highlighted by a big win at No. 18 San Diego State and a sweep of Saint Mary's.

The team reached the finals of the West Coast Conference Tournament, losing to Gonzaga 88-78. The team received an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in six years. They lost their first game to UCLA 73-62.

On January 20, 2022, BYU defeated San Diego 79-71, which marked Pope's 60th career win at BYU and made him the fastest BYU head coach ever to reach that benchmark. The win also gave the Cougars a 16-4 record for the season, which was Pope's best start through 20 games as head coach.[6]

BYU assistant coachEdit

From 2011 to 2015, Pope served as an assistant under Dave Rose. In four years, 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.

Other coaching experienceEdit

Prior to coming to BYU as an assistant, Pope was the director of basketball operations for Mark Fox at Georgia (2009-10) and an assistant under Jeff Bzdelik at Wake Forest (2010-11). Following four seasons as a Cougar assistant coach, Pope took over the men's basketball program at UVU. In four years at UVU (2015-19), Pope’s teams made improvements each season, going from 12 wins in 2015-16 to 25 victories in 2018-19. He also led the Wolverines to three-straight postseason appearances (2017, 2018, 2019) and back-to-back 20-win seasons (2017-18, 2018-19)—both are Wolverine records.[7]

Career statisticsEdit

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high



Regular seasonEdit

1997–98 Indiana 28 0 6.9 .341 .333 .588 .9 .3 .1 .2 1.4
1998–99 Indiana 4 0 6.5 .143 .000 .000 1.0 .0 .0 .0 .5
2000–01 Milwaukee 63 45 15.0 .437 .208 .629 2.3 .6 .3 .4 2.4
2001–02 Milwaukee 45 12 9.5 .396 .160 .524 1.6 .4 .2 .2 1.9
2003–04 Denver 4 0 5.0 .500 .000 .8 .0 .1 .0 .5
2004–05 Denver 9 0 3.0 .333 .9 .1 .1 .2 .4
Career 153 57 10.7 .401 .179 .573 1.7 .4 .2 .3 1.9


1998 Indiana 7 0 6.0 .667 .000 1.000 .7 .1 .1 .0 1.3
2001 Milwaukee 6 3 7.7 .500 .000 2.0 .3 .3 .0 1.7
Career 13 3 6.8 .563 .000 1.000 1.3 .2 .2 .0 1.5

Head coaching recordEdit

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Utah Valley (Western Athletic Conference) (2015–2019)
2015–16 Utah Valley 12–18 6–8 5th
2016–17 Utah Valley 17–17 6–8 5th CBI Semifinals
2017–18 Utah Valley 23–11 10–4 2nd CBI Quarterfinals
2018–19 Utah Valley 25–10 12–4 2nd CBI Quarterfinals
Utah Valley: 77–56 (.579) 34–24 (.586)
Brigham Young (West Coast Conference) (2019–present)
2019–20 BYU 24–8 13–3 2nd Postseason not held
2020–21 BYU 20–7 10–3 2nd NCAA Division I Round of 64
2021–22 BYU 24–11 9–6 5th NIT Quarterfinals
2022–23 BYU 16–10 6-5
BYU: 84–36 (.700) 38–17 (.691)
Total: 168–94 (.641)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ Tucker, Tim (April 17, 2010). "UGA's Pope Headed to Wake Forest as Assistant Coach". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
  2. ^ Call, Jeff (April 17, 2010). "Dave Rose hires Mark Pope to replace Dave Rice". Deseret News. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
  3. ^ "UVU hires BYU assistant Mark Pope as new basketball coach". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  4. ^ "Mark Pope Hired as Next BYU Basketball Coach". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  5. ^ Call, Jeff (May 27, 2011). "Mark Pope brings different type of hoops experience". Retrieved June 1, 2011.
  6. ^ "BYU's Mark Pope Makes Hilarious Reference to Viral TikTok Phrase". January 21, 2022.
  7. ^ "Mark Pope: Head Men's Basketball Coach". Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  8. ^ "Mark Pope". Basketball Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved January 24, 2022.

External linksEdit