BYU hires Suns assistant Kevin Young to replace Mark Pope, who left to coach Kentucky | Sports

PROVO, Utah (AP) — BYU hired Phoenix Suns associate head coach Kevin Young to replace Mark Pope, who left to coach Kentucky, the school’s athletic director announced Tuesday.

Young will continue to coach with the Suns during the NBA playoffs before joining BYU, but he will work on retaining current players, contacting recruits and assembling a coaching staff during the playoffs.

“Kevin is someone we have had our eye on for a while,” BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said in a press release. “He has risen to the top of NBA assistant coaching ranks. He has been a lead candidate for NBA head coaching jobs and has been instrumental in developing top-level NBA talent. Kevin will bring a new perspective, with an extensive NBA background to our program. He is a phenomenal fit at BYU.”

This is Young’s first head coaching job at the NCAA Division I level. The Salt Lake City native spent eight seasons coaching in the NBA G-League, with head coaching stints at the Utah Flash, Iowa Energy and Delaware 87ers.

Young spent four seasons as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers before joining the Suns in 2020. He was promoted to associate head coach in 2021.

Young had interviewed for NBA head coaching jobs with the Suns, Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks in recent seasons.

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