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BYU Hires Phoenix Suns Assistant Kevin Young As Head Coach

Apr 16, 2024, 10:34 AM | Updated: Apr 17, 2024, 11:07 am

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball is pulling a coach from the NBA ranks to lead their program moving forward.

First reported by Adrian Wojnarowski. KSL Sports has confirmed the report.

Kevin Young will be BYU’s next head coach. Young comes to BYU after an extensive career in the NBA. Most recently, he was the Associate Head Coach of the Phoenix Suns for the past three years.

BYU basketball hires Kevin Young as head coach

Young will be the 16th coach in BYU basketball history. He replaces Mark Pope, who took the Kentucky head coach position.

Young is viewed as the offensive coordinator on the Suns staff under head coach Frank Vogel. The Suns had the 10th-best offensive rating in the league, at 116.8, during the 2023-24 season.

Young is reportedly the highest-paid assistant coach in the NBA at $2 million annually.

He has been linked to numerous NBA head coaching searches. Young, most recently, the Brooklyn Nets vacancy that reportedly will be Jordi Fernandez.

A source told KSL Sports that Young was offered the Brooklyn Nets job at a salary above $5 million, but Young hesitated to take the position. The Nets finished in 11th place in the Eastern Conference this past season.

Young consulted with many of his connections in the NBA and basketball communities for insight. The BYU head coach job emerged as his next move.

Young is the highest-paid NBA assistant

BYU’s hire of Young is impressive. They landed a coach who is well respected as one of the top X’s and O’s minds in the pool of NBA assistant coaches.

Young was a candidate for the BYU head coach position five years ago before the position ultimately went to Mark Pope.

Sources tell KSL Sports that Young was the top candidate in the eyes of BYU legend Danny Ainge, who shared his advice when contacted by BYU decision-makers Tom Holmoe and Brian Santiago during the search.

He takes over a BYU program that finished 23-11 last season and fifth place in the Big 12 Conference. BYU received a 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament before falling in the first round.

The speed of BYU hiring Young is also noteworthy. Typically, hiring for BYU coaches has taken multiple weeks. BYU locks up their next basketball coach in less than a week.

Kevin Young has been a fixture in professional basketball

Kevin Young, 42, began his coaching career at the age of 23 after playing college basketball at Clayton State University. He began working overseas in Ireland with the Shamrock Rovers Hoops.

From there, he had brief college basketball experience under Dick Hunsaker at Utah Valley State from 2007-2008. Then, he coached at Oxford College in Georgia.

After leaving Oxford College in 2009, Young began his career in professional basketball. Young was hired as an assistant coach with the Utah Flash of the NBA Developmental League, now known as the NBA G-League.

In 2010, Young was promoted to the role of head coach of the Flash. During his time in the NBA G-League, he coached against current Philadelphia 76ers Nick Nurse and USC Trojans coach Eric Musselman, among others.

During Young’s time with the Utah Flash, he married Melissa Bailey, a student at BYU at the time.

According to his Wikipedia page, the couple was married in 2011 in the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He then became the head coach of the Iowa Wolves, later the Delaware 87ers of the Philadelphia 76ers organization. In 2016, Young turned his role with the 87ers into an assistant coach position on Brett Brown’s staff.

Two years later, Young was promoted to the head of the bench assistants along with Monty Williams on the Sixers staff.

Young was on the coaching staff with the Sixers, who worked with Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler, Robert Covington, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, T.J. McConnell, JJ Redick, and others.

Most recently, with the Phoenix Suns

Monty Williams would go on to earn the head coach job with the Phoenix Suns and brought Young as an assistant in 2020. The Suns went on to play in the NBA Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks during Young’s first season as an assistant with the organization.

Since 2021, Young has been an associate head coach for the franchise.

Last season, Young was in the running to be the Suns head coach and reports indicated that he had the support of many Suns players. Young has coached Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal, Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Grayson Allen, and others during his time in the desert.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com 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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BYU Hires Phoenix Suns Assistant Kevin Young As Head Coach