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Where Are They Now: Mark Pope


Mark Pope transferred to Kentucky from the University of Washington after setting a UW freshman single-season record of 8.1 rebounds per game. Pope began his career as a Wildcat in 1994 and was a part of the 1996 National Championship team.

In his two seasons with Kentucky, Pope scored a total of 546 points, averaging 7.9 per game in 69 games played. In his first season at Kentucky, Pope was named to the All-SEC Tournament, Academic All-American and Academic All-SEC team.

Pope was drafted 52nd overall in the second round of the 1996 NBA Draft to the Indiana Pacers. Before joining the Pacers, Pope spent a year in Turkey playing for Efes Pilsen of the Turkish professional league. Returning to the states, Pope spent two seasons playing under Larry Bird at Indiana. Pope averaged 1.4 points per game in his first season and 0.5 points in his second season, helping lead the Pacers to a 1998 Eastern Conference Final. Pope headed back to Turkey in 1999, where he played for La Crosse Bobcats of the CBA Ulkerspor of Turkey for one season.

Pope spent the next two seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks, where he averaged 2.4 and 1.9 points per game. Pope spent the 2002-03 season on injured reserve with the New York Kicks. Pope ended his seven-year NBA career as a Denver Nugget. Pope barely averaged one point per game in his two seasons and was cut during training camp before the 2005-06 season.

 (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

After hanging up his basketball shoes, Pope enrolled in medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. Pope completed two years of medical before joining the staff of Mark Fox at the University of Georgia. Pope was appointed as the Director of Basketball Operations at Georgia from 2009-10.

Following his short stint at Georgia, Pope was hired as an assistant coach at Wake Forest, where he spent only one season. Then, in 2011 Pope was hired as an assistant coach at BYU where he spent four seasons.

In March, Pope was hired as the head coach of Utah Valley University. According to Desert News, Pope signed a five-year contract with UVU and will be paid $175,000 annually.

“I could not be more excited to be the head coach of Utah Valley University,” Pope said. “This is going to be a really special time and a special run. UVU is an extraordinary place. I’ve played and coached at universities all across the country, and I’ve never seen a place like this, that offers the innovative, academic, cultural experience that is available here. It is unbelievable. I am excited to be part of it.”

Best wishes to Pope in his first-head coaching job! Go Wolverines!





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Article written by Kindsey Bernhard

Lover of dogs, sports and beer. @kindseybernhard

5 Comments for Where Are They Now: Mark Pope

  1. CatBlue in LR
    9:35 pm June 22, 2015 Permalink

    I think Eddie Sutton once coached at Utah Valley.

    Also, Pope’s part of that ’96 celebration video was awesome!

  2. Cayts
    9:57 pm June 22, 2015 Permalink

    does anyone read posts before they hit the website? Even the writer? Every post by this particular writer is full of simple spelling mistakes and left-out words?

  3. Chessplayer1974
    10:25 pm June 22, 2015 Permalink

    Mark Pope……classy guy on a great team. Will be cheering for his team.

  4. Xander
    7:34 am June 23, 2015 Permalink

    It’s a shame that someone that smart didn’t continue into medicine. However, it’s God to go after your dreams and he will be a great role model for his players.

  5. Xander
    7:35 am June 23, 2015 Permalink

    Sorry, good to follow your dreams.