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Mark Pope Agrees To Five-Year Deal With Kentucky

Updated: May 8

(Image via USA Today Sports)

Rumor no longer, Kentucky has come to pinpoint Calipari’s replacement. Mark Pope, former Wildcat and most recently BYU’s head basketball coach, is on his way to Lexington to take on his new job.

As first reported by CBS Sports, Mark will become the 23rd head coach for the Kentucky men’s basketball program with official announcements expected for Friday.

Mark Pope comes from Brigham Young University with a 187-108 (63.4%) all-time record as a head coach and most notably no NCAA Tournament wins. He does in fact have the ties to the program after playing two years and winning a national championship (1996) with the school, but taking on the coaching job after a Hall of Famer will be quite the ask.

In 9 years as the man leading a basketball program, he’s had six twenty-plus win seasons throughout his time at Utah Valley and BYU. On the other hand, he’s had seven double-digit losing seasons with three reaching 15 or greater. Not the on-paper candidate most people would’ve predicted, but it seems that Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart decided to take the alumni route. To read more about his background, we've tracked his coaching stops here for you.

According to CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander, the school and Pope have agreed to a five-year, $5.5 million annual salary to coach the Wildcats.

The school of course saves a lot of money after ridding John Calipari’s nation-leading contract, and it’s expected that the donors will have capital ready to utilize for the program in support. So, a lot of additional things to group with the program coming forward that we haven’t had in quite some time. We’re entering in a new chapter of Kentucky Basketball today, closing a great one that some crazy highs but ultimately ended in disappointment and head scratches. Time to look forward with hope for what’s next.

This is all new, there’s a lot to take in, many don’t seem to be happy about the decision, but Mark Pope is in fact the head coach of Kentucky now. Pen to paper, reality is here, and we can decide to approach it in two ways: Be mad and don’t watch, or accept it and hope that it goes well. I think I can say we’re all fans of this program before any coach, so I’m going to watch it and hope that it goes well.

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Good UK player coming home. Welcome Mark! Bring some those shooters from BYU. Keep our players we have reach out to recruits that were coming & hit tha portal hard! BBN glad to have you!

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Got to have trust. He has got to be smart enough to start his two best players

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