BYU basketball: Dave Rose hires Mark Pope to replace Dave Rice

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 6 2015 6:59 a.m. MDT

Mark Pope (Wake Forest) Mark Pope (Wake Forest)

PROVO — BYU basketball coach Dave Rose has hired former Kentucky player Mark Pope to join his staff as an assistant.

Pope replaces Dave Rice, who took the head coaching job at UNLV last month.

"We are excited to have Mark join our staff," Rose said. "He is one of the hardest working coaches in our business and we feel fortunate to have him come to BYU. His passion for the game is consistent with our existing staff and his experience as a player and a coach will bring great energy and excitement to our team."

Pope spent last season as an assistant at Wake Forest under Jeff Bzdelik. Prior to that, he served as the director of basketball operations at Georgia under Mark Fox in 2009-10.

Mark Pope (Associated Press) Mark Pope (Associated Press)

"I'm grateful to coach Rose for the opportunity to be a part of BYU basketball," Pope said. "It's been fun to watch coach Rose and his staff as they've built BYU into a great program. I can't wait to get started and to help the team continue to be successful."

The 6-foot-10 Pope helped lead Kentucky to the 1996 NCAA championship, averaging 7.6 points and 5.2 rebounds and was a team captain. That was followed by a nine-year professional career, including seven seasons in the NBA and two years in Turkey.

At Kentucky, Pope earned Academic All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1995. He graduated from Kentucky with a degree in English in 1996. He completed two years of medical school at Columbia University in New York. Pope did much of his pre-med course work while he was playing in the NBA.

Pope and his wife Lee Anne have four daughters: Ella (10), Avery (8), Layla (6) and Shay (3). Lee Anne worked at ESPN before serving as David Letterman's personal assistant for four years.

The hiring of Pope completes Rose's staff. Rose's other assistants are Terry Nashif and Tim LaComb. Mike Hall is the program's director of basketball operations.

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