UVU MenÕs basketball vs. Dixie State 02

Utah Valley Wolverines head coach Mark Pope congratulates guard Hayden Schenck (5) as he takes the bench after a play during an exhibition game between Utah Valley University and Dixie State University held Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, at the UCCU Center in Orem. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope has been named one of the 25 finalists for the 2019 Hugh Durham Award. The award is presented annually to the nation’s top mid-major coach.

The fourth-year head coach has led his team to another historic, record-breaking season. He has led the Wolverines to a school-record 24 wins and back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in program history. His team won its first-ever preseason tournament as the team claimed the middleweight championship belt at the MGM Main Event in Las Vegas with wins over Hartford and Long Beach State earlier this season. Under his guidance, Jake Toolson recently became the first UVU player to earn WAC Player of the Year honors, while Wyatt Lowell became the first player in UVU history to earn WAC Freshman of the Year honors. Over the past two seasons, his team owns the best record among the Division I programs in the state of Utah at 47-19. His team held the nation’s second-longest home win streak in the nation at 22 games at one point this season and holds an impressive 28-2 record at home over the last two seasons. Pope holds a 76-54 record in his four seasons at Utah Valley.

In eight seasons as the head coach at Jacksonville University, Durham became the Dolphins’ all-time winningest Division I coach (106 wins), making him the only coach in NCAA history to be the winningest coach (percentage or wins) at three different Division I schools.

He built national programs at Florida State where he holds the record for best winning percentage with a 230-95 (.708) record in 12 years, and at Georgia, where he is also the all-time winningest coach in the 99-year history of the Bulldog program, having won 297 games in 17 seasons.

The recipient of the 2019 Hugh Durham award will be announced on April 5 at the College Insider Awards Event, in Minneapolis, site of the 2019 NCAA Division I Basketball Championship.

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