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Kevin Young introduced as BYU head coach

Kevin Young introduced as BYU head coach

PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Kevin Young was busy traveling and coaching with the Phoenix Suns, while also interviewing for NBA head coaching positions, when BYU called.

“We were in L.A., Sacramento, Minnesota, and we were trying to make maybe arguably the most the biggest decision of our lives,” Young said at his introductory press conference Wednesday night. “It’s been a wild ride, but we obviously landed in an amazing place.”

Young replaces Mark Pope, who resigned last week to accept the head coaching job at Kentucky.

Young, whose wife Melissa graduated from BYU, spent the last eight years in the NBA as an assistant coach with Philadelphia and Phoenix. He also coached in the G-League with the Utah Flash and was an assistant at Utah Valley University. While many people thought Young was on a fast track to become an NBA head coach, he said he couldn’t pass up this opportunity.

BYU hires Kevin Young as head basketball coach

“This is a new challenge for me,” the 42-year-old Young said. “I’ve been on a different side of basketball all of my career. The thing that really moved the needle for me and my wife was the environment here at BYU, what this university stands for, what the mission of this university is. I’m a lifelong member of the church. That’s why we came here.”

Young is the highest paid BYU head coach ever, making 30 million dollars over the next seven years, and he appreciates all the resources BYU is utilizing now that they’re in the Big 12 Conference.

“The level of support from the athletic department, from the university, the resources that that this place has the fact that it’s in the Big 12, the highest level of college basketball,” Young said. “I’ve coached a couple of players that have played at Duke that I hear maybe might rival the fans here. So I want to be able to rub it in those guys faces about how much better this place is.”

Young has already begun recruiting, starting with the current players, convincing guys like Dallin Hall, Aly Khalifa and Richie Saunders, who are in the transfer portal, to stay with the Cougars.

Mark Pope introduced as Kentucky’s new head coach

“Make no mistake about it, that’s my first priority is those guys,” Young said. “I’ve already started building relationships with those guys, and all of them have ambition to play in the NBA. I think with my background, what I want to do to take it to the next level is make this place the best place in college basketball to prepare young men to play in the NBA.”

Young willl stay with the Suns through the NBA playoffs. He’s already starting to assemble a coaching staff, but first order of business was to shave the beard.

“We had practice this morning in Phoenix,” Young said. “I walked in there, and all the guys were kind of looking at me, and we had a good laugh about it. But funny enough with that, my wife didn’t want me to shave like 13 years. So the fact that here it is. So she’s happy about that.”

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