Mike Pope

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Mike Pope
Position: Tight ends coach
Personal information
Date of birth: (1942-03-14) March 14, 1942 (age 75)
Place of birth: Monroe, North Carolina
Career history
As coach:
Career highlights and awards

Michael L. "Mike" Pope (born March 14, 1942[1]) is a former tight ends coach in the National Football League. He is best known as the tight ends coach for the New York Giants, serving on all four of their Super Bowl Championship teams.

Early life[edit]

Pope attended Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, North Carolina, where he won a national championship as the college's starting quarterback.

Career[edit]

New York Giants (1983-1991)[edit]

Pope coached for the New York Giants for 23 years, the longest of any coach in franchise history.[2] Pope's coaching skills have been attributed as a reason for the success of Giants' tight ends Jeremy Shockey, Kevin Boss and Jake Ballard. During his first stint in New York, he coached Bavaro to two Pro Bowl appearances. Pope was on the Giants coaching staff for both Super Bowl XXI and Super Bowl XXV. Following the 1991 season, he was hired by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Cincinnati Bengals (1992-1993)[edit]

Tight Ends Coach (1992)[edit]

Pope was hired by the Bengals prior to the 1992 season and spent one year as the tight ends coach.

Offensive Coordinator (1993)[edit]

Pope was promoted to offensive coordinator on January 8, 1993.[3] The 1993 Bengals finished with a 3-13 record, including losing all eight road games and starting the season 0-10. The team finished with the 28th (last) ranked offense in the league.[4] Following the season he was hired by the New England Patriots.

New England Patriots (1994-1996)[edit]

Pope was hired prior to the 1994 season to serve as running backs coach for the Patriots. After one season, he was moved to tight ends coach, where he served for the next two years.

Washington Redskins (1997-1999)[edit]

Pope was hired by the Redskins prior to the 1997 season.[5] On February 10, 2000, he left the Redskins and returned to the New York Giants.[6]

Second Stint with the Giants (2000-2013)[edit]

Pope was hired by the Giants prior to the 2000 season. He spent the next 14 years as the team's tight ends coach, where he was instrumental in the development of players such as Jeremy Shockey, Jake Ballard, and Kevin Boss. Pope was the lone holdover from Jim Fassel's staff who coached with Tom Coughlin.[7] During this time, he won Super Bowl rings when the Giants defeated the New England Patriots in both Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI. On January 15, 2014, it was announced the Pope would be let go by the Giants.[8]

Dallas Cowboys (2014-2016)[edit]

Pope was hired by the Dallas Cowboys on January 22, 2014.[9] After the Cowboys defeated the Giants on October 19, 2014, Pope was given a game ball.[10] Pope retired on March 1, 2017, bringing an end to a 47-year coaching career, including 34 years in the NFL.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Pope is married to Lee with two sons, Travus and Daron, and four grandchildren.[12] Pope's personal connection to the Giants can be seen in the choice of name for one of his grandsons, Wellington, named for Giants' late owner Wellington Mara. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in January 2003.[13]

References[edit]

External links[edit]