Suns assistant Kevin Young to replace Mark Pope as BYU head coach

Apr 16, 2024, 9:56 AM | Updated: 7:07 pm

Associate head coach Kevin Young of the Phoenix Suns during the first half of the NBA game against ...

Phoenix Suns assistant coach Kevin Young, the NBA’s top-paid assistant, will replace Mark Pope as the head men’s basketball coach for the BYU Cougars, according to the program.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the move.

CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander reports that the deal is not signed but could be worth approximately seven years and $30 million.

Young, who was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, will begin assembling his BYU staff, according to Wojnarowski, but will continue working with the Suns as their playoffs begin Saturday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

BYU’s opening came after Pope replaced John Calipari at Kentucky last week.

The 42-year-old Young has been viewed as the Suns’ offensive coordinator. The Suns finished the 2023-24 regular season with the 10th-best offensive rating at 116.8 points per 100 possessions.

Young was this past week reportedly a finalist for the Brooklyn Nets’ head coaching vacancy, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. His name had been attached to NBA head-coaching searches in the past two cycles.

Kevin Young’s coaching history before joining BYU as head coach

Before this past season under head coach Frank Vogel, Young had been on Phoenix’s staff for three years under former head coach Monty Williams.

After former Suns assistant Willie Green took the head-coaching gig with the New Orleans Pelicans in 2021, Young was elevated from a standard assistant position to associate head coach.

Williams was fired in May 2023, and Young was a finalist to replace his former boss before Vogel was hired. Vogel retained Young on staff at a significant cost, reportedly on a $2 million salary.

Young got his start in the NBA as an assistant for the Philadelphia 76ers, where he spent four years. One of those was with Williams, who was also an assistant under Brett Brown for one season. Williams poached Young from Philadelphia’s staff in Williams’ second season coaching Phoenix.

Young started as a head coach in Ireland (2006-07) before a season apiece as an assistant at Utah Valley State (2007-08) and Oxford College (2008-09).

He then became an assistant for the Utah Flash, the Jazz’s D League affiliate, for 2010-11. Young was elevated to head coach after a season there, and one year after that, he moved on to lead the Iowa Energy, an affiliate for the Minnesota Timberwolves (2011-13).

For the 2013-14 season, Young began in the 76ers organization by getting on the staff for their D League affiliate in Delaware. A year later, he was their head coach, a job that lasted for three seasons before joining Brown’s bench in 2016.

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