Monday, May 20, 2024

College basketball coaching changes tracker 2024: BYU hires Kevin Young after Kentucky plucks Mark Pope

With more than 60 coaching moves in the past month, here is everything you need to know about what’s changed in college hoops


It’s been a week-plus since the 2023-24 season concluded — and we STILL haven’t filled every coaching vacancy. The 2021, 2022 and 2023 carousel tours were noisy/historic in their own rights (ready for this? North Carolina, Duke, Villanova, Arizona, Louisville, Indiana, Marquette, Maryland, Texas (twice) and Syracuse all had swaps in the past three seasons), but this one tops those years.

This 2024 coaching cycle is officially one of the most memorable and meaningful we’ve ever seen. And when you factor in the past three years, the sport has undergone greater symbolic change in its coaching ranks than ever before in such a short period of time.

A major factor in 2024 being legendary is the change in leadership at Kentucky. When a blue blood suddenly opens up on the eve of the national championship game, it’s a kaboom. To think, it only happened because Eric Musselman bolted for USC two days before the Final Four. (Which was its own tempest of a news cycle that has been swallowed up in all that’s happened since.) John Calipari’s retreat out of Kentucky was an earthquake and overshadowed the build-up to UConn’s back-to-back championships in the hours before the Huskies waltzed past Purdue on April 8.

As a result, Calipari’s exodus to Arkansas will bring increased intrigue to the SEC and the sport next season.

Thankfully, Kentucky didn’t take long to fill after Scott Drew and Dan Hurley passed on the job. In Cal’s place is 51-year-old Mark Pope, who will outdo Calipari’s energy in Lexington. Pope left BYU for his alma mater and is yet another alumnus taking over at a high-profile basketball institution. Initial response on Pope’s hiring was mixed, but Big Blue Nation quickly flocked to form and filled Rupp Arena to capacity for his introductory press conference Sunday afternoon. An incredible scene that’s a testament to that fan base’s immeasurable passion.

Kentucky taking Pope meant that the final power-conference job to fill was BYU. On Tuesday, it filled. Kevin Young, the lead assistant the past three seasons for the Phoenix Suns, will be the next coach of the Cougars. A source said Young has a seven-year deal in the vicinity of $30 million. For the full story on why and how BYU got Young to say yes — doing so while breaking its own traditional hiring rules in the process — check out the details here. I also have more below.

Here’s an expansive look at the ’24 carousel, which has had 62 job switches so far. A couple more need to 

Major-conference changes

Non-Big Six changes

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