Pope Shares Reasons For Taking BYU Job, Cracks Jokes At Press Conference

Apr 10, 2019, 3:58 PM | Updated: 5:26 pm

PROVO, Utah – At his introductory press conference, newly minted BYU head basketball coach Mark Pope gave his rationale for choosing to take the job.

For Pope, who served as an assistant with the Cougars from 2011-15 before spending four years as the head coach at UVU, said he understood just how much winning games means at BYU.

That, he said, was one of the major deciding factors.

While contemplating the job offer after a passionate pitch from athletic director Tom Holmoe and other administrators that took place on the floor at the Marriott Center, a thought crossed Pope’s mind that pretty much sealed the deal.

“Where do you want to win the most,” Pope recalled asking himself. “Where can you go win and it will mean the most on every level? There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s here.”

To Pope, the answer was simple and that’s why the now-former UVU coach choose to take the job up the road in Provo.

“That’s why I’m here and that’s why we’re here. Because this is a special place to win,” said Pope.

Conversation With Rose

Another factor that weighed into his decision was the friendship that he has with former BYU head coach Dave Rose.

According to Pope, the two had a nice chat at the NCAA Final Four, a major gathering place for college basketball coaches, over the weekend.

He didn’t share the details of what was said, Pope expressed his admiration for the now-retired coach.

“What Coach did here, it is beyond extraordinary what he accomplished here,” said Pope.

Coach Pope, The Comedian

Pope’s introductory presser was also full of brevity as he reintroduced himself to a group of media members and supporters who already knew him well.

When asked about competing with West Coast Conference powerhouse Gonzaga, Pope gave a lukewarm response, eliciting plenty of laughs from those in attendance.

“Yeah they are good, they are OK, whatever,” said Pope in a obviously joking manner before adding that his goal was not necessarily to focus on competing with just one team.

Asked what he hopes to accomplish in his first year at the helm of his new job, Pope again drew laughs with his response.

“Number one goal is to not get fired,” said Pope.


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Pope Shares Reasons For Taking BYU Job, Cracks Jokes At Press Conference