Mark Pope and the BYU Cougars have agreed on a contract extension that keeps the head coach with the team through the 2026-27 season. This announcement came the day before the team was set to kick off the 2020-21 season. It seems the Cougars have found a long-term solution for the program’s head basketball coach. He decided to defer increased compensation to later years to help the athletic department balance out funds amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Pope had the following to say about the extension. “It’s such a gift to be able to coach here. There are so many reasons why. It certainly starts with the people you get to work for”.
Tom Holmoe announced that a contract extension has been finalized for Coach Pope that extends through the 2026-27 season.
In an effort to help BYU Athletics with budget concerns due to COVID-19, Pope elected to defer increased compensation in the new contract into future years. pic.twitter.com/1cBsNFeRrc
— BYU Basketball (@BYUbasketball) November 25, 2020
Pope has only been with the program for a single year, but the athletic program has clearly decided to put its faith in the head coach. His first year with the Cougars saw them finish with a record of 24-8 and a final ranking of 18 in the national rankings. They were projected to be a single-digit seed in the NCAA Tournament before the Coronavirus Pandemic led to the cancelation of the tournament. Pope certainly seems to have BYU on the right track and on an upward trend. The team even managed a win over the number two ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs this past season.
Pope has proved himself a capable head coach on the court and has even shown some promise as a recruiter. He managed to lure in Purdue transfer Matt Haarms away from Kentucky and Texas Tech. This was a smart move for the Cougars and locked up their head coach for several more years.