Skip to content

BYU hires Suns assistant Young as next head coach

Chris Coduto / Getty Images Sport / Getty

BYU named Phoenix Suns assistant Kevin Young as its next head coach.

Young will succeed Mark Pope, who left earlier this month after five years in Utah to replace John Calipari at Kentucky.

"We had a variety of excellent candidates and a lot of interest in this position," BYU athletics director Tom Holmoe said in a statement Tuesday. "Kevin is someone we have had our eye on for a while. He has risen to the top of NBA assistant coaching ranks. He has been a lead candidate for NBA head coaching jobs and has been instrumental in developing top-level NBA talent.

"Kevin will bring a new perspective, with an extensive NBA background to our program. He is a phenomenal fit at BYU. He is humble, fun and super intelligent. Cougar Nation is going to love getting to know Kevin.”

The 42-year-old Young is a native of Salt Lake City - a one-hour drive from the BYU campus in Provo - and considered one of the brightest up-and-coming coaches in basketball. He joined the Suns in October 2020 when he assumed a significant role on Monty Williams' staff but remained with the franchise after the organization fired Williams. In June, he was rewarded with a new contract by the team that made him the best-paid assistant coach in the NBA.

Phoenix will retain Young for its pending playoff run, which begins Saturday on the road against the 56-win Minnesota Timberwolves. However, he will simultaneously begin putting together a coaching staff to focus on recruiting for the Cougars.

Prior to joining the Suns, Young worked four seasons as an assistant on the Philadelphia 76ers. He also spent multiple campaigns as a head coach in the G League with affiliates of the Minnesota Timberwolves (Iowa Energy) and the 76ers (Utah Flash and Delaware 87ers).

Young has frequently been mentioned as a strong candidate for several NBA coaching jobs, including the Suns, who considered promoting him after Williams' departure. He was most recently linked to the Brooklyn Nets' vacancy and was reportedly among three finalists before the franchise opted for Sacramento Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez, who also currently helms Canada's senior national men's squad.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox