Apr 16, 2024 - News

Phoenix Suns' Kevin Young named head coach at BYU after Pope's departure to Kentucky

Basketball coach Kevin Young points during a game.

Kevin Young, BYU's new head men's basketball coach, in 2021. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Kevin Young, associate head coach for the Phoenix Suns, is BYU's new head basketball coach, the school announced Tuesday. He replaces Mark Pope, who left BYU last week to become head coach at Kentucky.

Why it matters: Young's move to a college-level position demonstrates BYU's heightened stature since it joined the Big 12.

  • He recently was a finalist to become head coach for the Brooklyn Nets.

Yes, but: Pope's departure left a sting that continues this week as blue-chip recruit Collin Chandler flipped his commitment Tuesday from BYU to Kentucky.

  • Several other Cougars entered the transfer portal after Pope's announcement last week, but it's unclear how many will remain in Provo now that BYU has secured Young.

Zoom in: Young, 42, was born in Salt Lake City and spent as a coach for the now-defunct NBA development team, the Utah Flash from 2007-11. He was also an assistant at Utah Valley State College from 2005-2006.

The bottom line: Young's arrival could help soothe BYU fans, some of whom were angry that Pope didn't thank the university on his way out.

  • Young has worked with NBA superstars like Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, so fans shouldn't be too reluctant to turn their focus to the future rather than the past.
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