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Mark Pope building Kentucky coaching staff, at least one BYU assistant expected to join

Zack Geogheganby:Zack Geoghegan04/12/24


Kentucky men’s basketball’s new head coach Mark Pope is working quickly to build out his first group of staffers.

According to KSR’s Matt Jones, Pope, who was officially announced as UK’s head coach on Friday morning after spending the last five seasons at BYU, is “expected to bring one assistant and at least one administrative person with him from BYU”.

Jones adds that he believes one former Kentucky player will also join Pope’s staff in some capacity.

Looking at Pope’s 2023-24 staff at BYU, he worked with four assistant coaches: Cody Fueger, Nick Robinson, Kahlil Fennell (recently accepted head coaching job at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley), and Collin Terry.

Of the three available candidates, Fueger is one to keep an eye on as a possible addition to Kentucky’s staff. He was tabbed as one of the most impactful mid-major assistant coaches in all of Division I men’s basketball by Silver Waves Media in 2022 and 2023. Fueger has been Pope’s assistant for nearly a decade now, starting at Utah Valley State in 2015 before jumping to Utah with Pope in 2019.

As for the possibility of adding a former Kentucky player, Scott Padgett is as good a guess as any. He played with Pope at Kentucky and is currently the associate to the head coach at Mississippi State. Another option could be John Pelphrey, who is currently the head coach at Tennessee Tech. Pelphrey (1988-92) also played at UK but was slightly before Pope’s playing time in Lexington.

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