Kentucky Lands Top Baylor Assistant for Mark Pope After Failed Scott Drew Pursuit

The hiring of Brooks brings Kentucky's coaching transition full-circle.
Feb 16, 2022; Lubbock, Texas, USA;  Baylor Bears assistant coach Alvin Brooks III shouts
Feb 16, 2022; Lubbock, Texas, USA; Baylor Bears assistant coach Alvin Brooks III shouts / Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky men's basketball is hiring top Baylor assistant Alvin Brooks III to Mark Pope's staff as an assistant head coach, according to multiple reports.

The addition of Brooks is significant on a couple of fronts. Brooks, who had been a member of the Baylor staff since 2016, was instrumental in the development of some of Scott Drew's best teams in Waco, including the 2021 national championship team.

Brooks is also known to be a tireless recruiter, which will be a big early indicator for program health under Pope. He has never held a role where recruiting is as important to a job as it will be in Lexington.

Finally, the addition of Brooks takes Kentucky's coaching transition as a whole a bit full-circle. Prior to hiring Pope as the program's new head coach to replace John Calipari, the school heavily pursued Drew to try to lure him away from Baylor. Drew ultimately chose to continue his tenure in Waco, which has now spanned over two decades.

While Kentucky wasn't able to land Drew, adding Brooks to the staff is potentially the next-best thing in terms of bringing elements of Baylor's championship-level program to Lexington, a school that's a bona fide blue-blood.

Mike McDaniel


Mike McDaniel is a writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated, where he has worked since January 2022. His work has been featured at, SB Nation, FanSided, and more. Mike hosts the Hokie Hangover Podcast, covering Virginia Tech athletics, as well as Basketball Conference: The ACC Football Podcast. Outside of his professional life, he is a husband, father, and an avid golfer.