Skip to main content

BYU hires top Phoenix Suns assistant Kevin Young to replace Mark Pope

Screen Shot 2024-05-28 at 9.09.17 AMby:Kaiden Smith04/16/24


BYU has hired Phoenix Suns assistant Kevin Young to become the next Cougars’ head men’s basketball coach according to an announcement from the program. As Young will fill in the role of former head man Mark Pope following his departure to Kentucky.

Young has spent the past four seasons on Phoenix’s staff, and will now begin the first collegiate head coaching job of his career following over a decade at the professional level.

“We are excited to announce Kevin as our new head men’s basketball coach and welcome him and his family to BYU,” BYU director of athletics Tom Holmoe said in a statement. “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.”

The statement also revealed that Young will remain working on the Suns’ staff through the NBA postseason, but will immediately work toward retaining current players, contacting recruits, and building his BYU coaching staff.

Young is a Salt Lake City, Utah native who played college basketball at Middle Georgia and Clayton State before starting his coaching career in 2006. Getting his start overseas in Dublin, Ireland as the head coach of Shamrock Rovers Hoops at a 23-year-old.

After one season overseas he returned stateside as an assistant at Utah Valley State and Oxford College for a season apiece before breaking through to the professional level. Becoming an assistant at the NBA D-League’s Utah Flash before being promoted to head coach in 2010 after one year.

Following a 28–22 season with the Flash, he replaced Nick Nurse as the head coach of the Iowa Energy. Spending two seasons with the Energy before becoming an assistant and eventual head coach yet again at the D-League level for the Delaware 87ers.

Young finally broke through to the NBA level following eight years of coaching in the D-League and a successful tenure with the 87ers. Promoted to an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers in 2016 under Brett Brown before Brown’s firing in 2020. Moving on to his assistant coaching job with the Suns in 2020 where in one year he was promoted to associate head coach.

He brings extension basketball knowledge from the highest level with him to Provo as he returns to head coaching and his home state. Having some big shoes to fill after Pope led the Cougars to four 20+ win seasons and two NCAA Tournament appearances in his five seasons with the program.