Dave Rose retires as BYU men’s basketball head coach

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Emma Wiles
Dave Rose smiles through many tears during his retirement press conference on March 26. (Emma Wiles)

Dave Rose announced he’s retiring as the head coach of BYU’s men’s basketball team in a press conference held inside the Marriott Center March 26.

“I’ll promise you this, I’m the happiest guy in here. But this will be tough. Thirty-six years. Thirty-six years I’ve been doing this — 22 at BYU, 14 as the head coach — and today is the day that I’m going to retire,” Rose said. “I’ve had a chance to talk with the players and encourage them to move forward and tackle the challenges at hand. But most of all, I’ve had a chance to reflect with my family. How lucky I’ve been. I’m 61 years old and I still haven’t worked a day in my life.”

Rumors recently surfaced on social media about Rose’s future and standing with the team. Though it is not rare to see this type of chatter after a team has an unsuccessful season, there seemed to be truth behind the rumors.

Amid these rumors, Rose knew it was time to retire.

“I kind of have three coaching pillars for me. One is my mind, my coaching mind. My body, my physical body, my coaching body. And then my soul, what I consider to be my coaching soul, which is my heart,” Rose said. “It’s my coaching soul that has put me here today because I always tell everybody, ‘You can’t trick how you feel. You can pretend or you can ignore it, but you know inside how you feel.’ And my coaching soul said it was time, time to be done.”

The 2018-19 season marked the first and only time BYU basketball has not reached either the NCAA or NIT tournament with Rose as head coach. The lack of success this season came while three of this year’s players garnered all-team honors — Yoeli Childs an All-WCC First Team pick, TJ Haws an All-WCC Second Team selection and Gavin Baxter an All-WCC Freshman Team pick.

Rose’s 348 total victories through 14 seasons currently rank him sixth in NCAA basketball history. His streak of 13 consecutive 20-win seasons is tied for sixth all-time in NCAA history, but the streak came to an end after last season.

BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe offered his comments on what Dave Rose has done for BYU and the basketball program.

“Thank you, Dave. You’ve given your all to BYU basketball on and off the court. You’ve accomplished some great, great things,” Holmoe said. “It’s only appropriate that we’re here in the Marriott Center where, on this floor, one of the accomplishments is your record in this hallowed building is 200 wins, 27 losses. That’s something.”

Rose’s first season as head coach came during the 2005-2006 season. Prior to becoming head coach, Rose was BYU associate head coach from 2000-2005 and assistant coach from 1997-2000.

Emma Wiles
Dave Rose addresses friends, family and the media on March 26 where he announced his retirement from BYU basketball. (Emma Wiles)

Rose’s coaching experience dates back to 1983 where he coached Millard High School, followed by coaching roles with Pine View High School and Dixie State University.

Rose’s daughter, Taylor, commented on what her father has done for her, knowing she has always been “Coach Rose’s daughter.”

“I’m 24, so 22 years of my life I’ve been Coach Rose’s daughter, which is one of my greatest privileges,” Taylor said. “I’m so proud of you, and I just wanted everyone to know that. You’ve done amazing things, but you will only do amazing things next.”

Rose holds an overall record of 348-135 as the head coach of BYU. He is currently 11th overall in the NCAA among active coaches with a career winning percentage of .720 and was the 15th fastest head coach in NCAA history to reach 200 wins. Rose led BYU to top 25 rankings five times during his tenure and reached the NCAA tournament a BYU record eight times. Rose coached six All-Americans and five conference players of the year.

Knowing he had 14 years worth of games to choose from, Rose said his favorite game occurred in the 2011 NCAA tournament.

“I’ve been asked that a lot over the years and really can’t ever say,” Rose said. “How can you pick one game and have it be your favorite game? I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to feel like I felt after we beat Gonzaga to go to the Sweet 16. We fly into Provo airport and there’s 400-500 Cougar fans. That’s when I knew I was someplace special — really, really special.”

Rose steps down with a BYU record four WCC regular season titles. In addition, the 14-year head coach received the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year three times and USBWA District VIII Coach of the Year twice. Rose was also a Naismith Coach of the Year finalist in 2011 and an honorable mention for National Coach of the year by Scout.com in 2006.

Emma Wiles
Dave rose embraces his wife, Cheryl, following the press conference in which he announced his retirement. (Emma Wiles)

Rose’s wife, Cheryl, spoke about what BYU has done for her and her family.

“I don’t know how I feel. I go from feeling excited for what’s next for us to sad, but there are so many things that we will miss,” Cheryl said. “I think for me the biggest emotion I feel is gratitude. We are so, so grateful for the opportunities that we’ve had to be here at BYU.”

Looking ahead, some have suggested Mark Pope may fill the vacant head coaching position. Pope is currently the head coach of UVU men’s basketball team and is a former BYU basketball assistant coach.

Other interested coaches could include Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Mark Madsen, Utah Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen and Dixie State head coach Jon Judkins, as they are all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. BYU women’s basketball head coach Jeff Judkins could also get a call for the open position, as his team’s season ended with a NCAA second-round loss to No. 2 seeded Stanford.

Rose said he’s not sure what his future will hold but knows today’s emotion won’t last and will remember his time at BYU fondly.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow but I’ll promise you it’s better than what I’m doing today. That’s from my heart. I love BYU and I love all these players,” Rose said.

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