BYU Cougars

Former BYU Coach Mark Pope: ‘I’m Way Handsomer With UK on My Chest

Mar 21, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Brigham Young Cougars head coach Mark Pope keeps an eye on the action against the Duquesne Dukes in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at CHI Health Center Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

While former BYU head coach Mark Pope didn’t ruffle too many feathers on his way out of Provo, his recent comments regarding recruiting at Kentucky piqued some interest among Cougars fans.

Pope recently spoke on the advantage of recruiting at Kentucky, saying, “I’m a way handsomer guy with UK on my chest.”


“Every time that I get to walk into a building with UK on my chest, it just feels different recruiting,” Pope said. “I’m a way handsomer guy with UK on my chest. Man, it just comes out of my soul every time I get to introduce myself to a recruit and say, ‘I’m Coach Pope, the head coach at the University of Kentucky.’ Like, I can’t, that just doesn’t roll off my tongue.”

Pope accepted the job at Kentucky after legendary head coach John Calipari left the program for Arkansas. Calipari spent 15 seasons in Lexington, and ahead of Year 16, both sides decided it may be time for a change of scenery.

Pope concluded his thoughts by saying, “It catches me every single time because I know what this job is, and I know how blessed we are to have a chance to be here affiliated with this incredible University.”

On the flip side of the “handsomer” debate, BYU’s new head coach, Kevin Young, has quickly put together an impressive roster. The former NBA assistant added impressive names like Russian guard Egor Demin and four-star forward Kanon Catchings, as well as transfers like Utah’s Keba Keita and Rutgers’ Mawot Mag.

While it’s tough to say what the ceiling for BYU or Kentucky is with new coaches on the bench, both teams appear to be content with their offseasons as they head into 2024-25.

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