PROVO – BYU basketball coach Dave Rose announced his retirement from coach Tuesday afternoon at a press conference at the Marriott Center. Rose led BYU to a 348-135 overall record in his 14 seasons as the Cougars head coach, including eight berths in the NCAA Tournament and five bids into the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). He never had a losing season and only dipped below 20 wins in a season once, this past 2018-19 campaign, finishing with a 19-13 record
“Thirty-six years, thirty-six years I’ve been doing this,” Rose said at his press conference Tuesday. “Twenty-two at BYU, 14 as the head coach. Today’s the day I’m going to retire. I’ve had a chance to talk with the players and encourage them to move forward and tackle the challenge that’s 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, I still haven’t worked a day in my life. I’ve gotten to play, play with so many great players, coached so many great players, so many great teams. That’s probably what I’ll miss the most.
Rose came to BYU as an assistant coach when Steve Cleveland was hired to resurrect the program from a 1-25 1995-96 season. In the eight years he worked alongside Cleveland BYU won two conference titles, three NCAA Tournament berths & two NIT bids. He was named as Cleveland’s successor ahead of the 2005-06 season.
Despite all the accolades, Rose said there is one overarching takeaway he’ll have from his 22 years with the Cougars.
“I’ve always felt like these (accolades) are all numbers – just numbers on a page,” Rose said Tuesday, gesturing a graphic on a screen above him. “People tell me that they’re at times pretty impressive numbers. But what I’ll always remember are the players, the relationships that I’ve had with the guys, the coaches, that’s one of the things I’ll really miss – these coaches are my best friends. I’ve talked to every one of the coaches that have worked for me this morning over the years. I can’t thank those guys enough.”
Much has been made over the timing of the move by Rose, with some speculating that he was retiring under pressure from school administrators or concerns that his health was the reason for the abrupt departure. Rose was diagnosed in June 2009 with a rare form of Pancreatic cancer and has been advocate for cancer research since that time. He laid out the reason(s) for his departure Tuesday afternoon.
“I’ve had 10 years of what some doctors have said, ‘You’re playing on house money.’ And the house money’s been pretty good to me,” Rose said. “I kind of have three coaching pillars. One is my mind – a coaching mind, (second) my body – my physical body, a coaching body, and then what I consider a coaching soul, which is my heart.
“My mind I fought for years. You get tired, you get frustrated, you get mad, you can’t figure things out and I’ve always been able to talk my mind back into ‘it’s time to accept the next challenge; let’s get the next team, let’s go.’ My body would be tired at times but I could always get myself up and get going. And make my body do it. But it’s my coaching soul that has put me here today. I always tell everybody: you can’t trick how you feel. You can pretend, you can ignore it, but you know inside how you feel. And my coaching soul said it was time, time to be done.”
Note – Information provided by BYU Sports Information was used as part of writing this article.