Blue Coast Live

Multimedia by UK School of Journalism & Media Students

Blue Coast Live

Blue Coast Live

Haiti Hustle leaves a footprint on the minds of Haiti Educators
"Haiti Hustle" leaves a footprint on the minds of Haiti Educators
March 29, 2016

Mark Pope introduced as new UK basketball coach

Thousands attend press conference at Rupp Arena

Alumnus and 1996 National Champion Mark Pope was introduced as the University of Kentucky’s new basketball coach on April 14 at a jam-packed Rupp Arena.

Pope, who had spent the last five seasons coaching at Brigham Young University, was officially named the new head coach at Kentucky on April 12, after former coach John Calipari left for the same position at the University of Arkansas.

An open-to-the-public press conference was then scheduled at Rupp Arena. University of Kentucky officials expected a turnout of around 3,500 fans, but close to 22,000 members of the Big Blue Nation showed up to pack the arena.

“I would try to temper expectations, but that is not happening, you are not allowing that. So why try?” Pope said to a thunderous round of applause. “We are trying to win and our goal is to win every game we play. That is what we are shooting for, trying to win. Listen, and when we lose a game, if that happens, we will pick ourselves up and reassemble and be resilient and relentless and try to win the next one. That is the DNA at Kentucky.”

Pope’s first appearance as the king of the castle won many fans over, including UK student Ian Sexton.

“I was really confused at the moment (of the hire), but seeing everything today and everyone out makes me really hopeful for the future,” Sexton said. “I grew up a UK fan my entire life and I’m glad to be able to carry this on to the next era and I hope he does well.”

Pope and members of the 1996 National Championship team entered Rupp Arena alongside other Kentucky Basketball legends on a charter bus, led by two police bikes.

“If Kentuckians know one thing, they know a hard day’s work and getting up the next day and having another hard day’s work. That is what we know here,” Pope said.


Leave a Comment
Donate to Blue Coast Live

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Media. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Blue Coast Live

Comments (0)

All Blue Coast Live Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *