BYU Cougars

BYU Hires Phoenix Suns’ Associate Head Coach Kevin Young

Last week, BYU head basketball coach Mark Pope decided to leave the Cougars and become the 23rd head coach at the University of Kentucky, where he won a national championship as a player in 1996.

Pope took over at BYU in 2019, and in his fifth season, he led their transition into the Big 12. Ranked in the Top 25 most of the season, Pope’s Cougars went 23-11 and earned an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament.

In the days following his exit, the coaching search in Provo was fairly quiet until Tuesday morning.

 

As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, BYU has now officially made the splash hire of Phoenix Suns associate head coach Kevin Young, who was a finalist for the Brooklyn Nets job recently.

Landing the NBA’s highest-paid assistant coach is a huge accomplishment for BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe.

“We are excited to announce Kevin as our new head men’s basketball coach and welcome him and his family to BYU,” Holmoe said. “We had a variety of excellent candidates and a lot of interest in this position. Kevin is someone we have had our eye on for a while. 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. He is humble, fun, and super intelligent. Cougar Nation is going to love getting to know Kevin.”

 

A Salt Lake City native, Young will remain with the Suns in the playoffs but will begin the process of retaining players, contacting recruits, and assembling a coaching staff immediately, according to a release from the school.

“[Young] is considered one of the most respected assistant coaches in the NBA, having worked with Kevin Durrant, Devin Booker, and Joel Embiid during stints with the Suns and Philadelphia 76ers,” BYU’s release reads.  

Young spent eight years coaching in the NBA G League — including head-coaching jobs with the Utah Flash, Iowa Energy and Delaware 87ers. Young began to gain momentum as a head-coaching candidate in openings a year ago, including interviews with the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Houston Rockets and Suns. Young previously interviewed for head-coaching jobs with the Philadelphia 76ers, Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards.

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