Mark Pope Will Be Among Highest-Paid College Coaches At Kentucky

Apr 11, 2024, 11:52 PM | Updated: Apr 15, 2024, 2:24 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Mark Pope is about to cash in at Kentucky.

The BYU head coach will reportedly land the vacant headman position with the Kentucky Wildcats.

Pope will replace former Wildcats coach John Calipari, now at Arkansas.

CBS’ Matt Norlander reported on Thursday night that Pope is set to receive a five-year contract that will pay him an average of $5.5 million annually.

That would make Pope the sixth-highest-paid coach in college basketball, based on salaries from USA Today in the 2023-24 season. The only coaches with bigger salaries than Pope are Bill Self at Kansas, Calipari at Arkansas, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, Bruce Pearl at Auburn, and Rick Barnes from Tennessee.

Three of those coaches Mark Pope will be contending with in the SEC.

Pope’s reported $5.5 million salary would be higher than the salaries of Baylor’s Scott Drew ($5.1 million) and UConn’s Dan Hurley ($5 million) from the 2023-24 season. With both coaches receiving interest from Kentucky, both may have higher salaries next year.

Regardless, Pope’s salary puts him among college basketball’s highest-paid coaches.

The salary Pope earned at BYU is unknown because the school is a private institution owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But it’s safe to say his salary was nowhere near the Top 10 salaries in college basketball.

Pope coached at BYU for five seasons and posted a record of 110-52. He led BYU to two NCAA Tournament appearances but didn’t win a game in March Madness.

Throughout Pope’s nine years as a head coach in college basketball, which includes four years at Utah Valley, Pope has a record of 187-108.

He now takes on one of the most prestigious jobs in college basketball at Kentucky.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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Mark Pope Will Be Among Highest-Paid College Coaches At Kentucky