Mark Edward Pope was born September 11, 1972 in Omaha, Nebraska. Mark played for the 1996 national championship Kentucky Wildcats and is currently an assistant coach for Brigham Young University. He enjoyed a nine-year professional career that included seven seasons in the NBA and two in Turkey.
Pope was a high school star in Seattle and played two years at the University of Washington. He
earned Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors in 1992 after setting a UW freshman single-season record with 8.1 rebounds per game. He transferred to the University of Kentucky and was a member of Kentucky’s 1996 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champion team. Pope was a second round pick of the Pacers in the 1996 NBA Draft. Mark played the 1996-97 seaosn for Efes Pilsen in Turkey then played for the Indiana Pacers under Larry Bird from 1997-99 and helped the Pacers to the 1998 Eastern Conference Finals. He went on to play for the La Crosse Bobcats of the CBA and Ulkerspor in Turkey in 1999-00. Pope played for the Milwaukee Bucks under coach George Karl from 2000-02 and helped the Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2001. He spent the 2002-03 season on injured reserve with the New York Knicks. The last year of his career was the 2004-05 season as he was cut in training camp with the Nuggets the following season.
Pope enrolled in medical school in 2006 at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. In 2009, he left medical school and joined the staff of Mark Fox at the University of Georgia. Fox was an assistant coach when both were at the University of Washington. The following season (2010-11), Pope moved to Wake Forest University to serve as an assistant under Jeff Bzdelik.
In May of 2011, it was announced that Pope had been hired as an assistant to Dave Rose at Brigham Young University. Pope replaced Dave Rice, who left BYU to assume the head coach position at UNLV.
Pope and his wife Lee Anne, a former assistant to talk show host David Letterman, have four daughters. Lee Anne is the daughter of the late Lynn Archibald, who was the head coach at Utah and was an assistant at BYU in the 1990s.
Walter Cornett, of Glendale, Kentucky, is the owner and operator of Walter’s Wildcat World. He founded WildcatWorld.com in 1998 making it one of the oldest Kentucky basketball fan sites in operation today.