Syracuse head coach designate Mike Hopkins yells to his players in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas Southern in Syracuse, N.Y., Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. Syracuse won 80-67. (AP Photo/Nick Lisi)
The Huskies have found a men’s basketball coach and hired Mike Hopkins, who had been an assistant the past 21 years at Syracuse.
“I’m extremely excited to welcome Mike and his family to Seattle,” UW athletic director Jen Cohen said in a statement released by the school. “His resume and reputation within the basketball community made him stand out to us, but ultimately it was his vision for Washington, his passion for teaching and developing student-athletes and his close alignment with the core values of our institution and department that made it more than clear that he was the right fit for us.”
Jon Rothstein at CBSsports.com was the first to break the news.
Hopkins has agreed to a six-year deal with the Huskies, reports ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
“The University of Washington is such a unique place, with a world-class University, an exciting basketball history and unbelievable fan support,” Hopkins said. “Together, I believe we can build something very special in Seattle, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Hopkins, who began coaching at Syracuse in 1995, was named the head-coach designate on June 25, 2015 and was scheduled to replace longtime coach Jim Boeheim for the 2017-18 season.
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Instead, Hopkins follows Lorenzo Romar who was fired last week after a 15-year tenure with the Huskies.
Hopkins, who turns 48 in August, was born in San Mateo, Calif. and enrolled in Syracuse in 1989. He led the 1991-92 SU team to the Big East Championship. He was a two-year starter at shooting guard and a team captain as a senior.
Hopkins played professional basketball in the Continental Basketball Association with the Rochester (Minn.) Renegades and in Europe with teams in Turkey and Holland following his graduation from Syracuse.
During his time at Syracuse, Hopkins was a part of 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 2003 national championship, four Final Fours, five Elite Eights and 10 Sweet 16s, along with four NIT berths.
“I can’t express enough thanks to Coach Boeheim for so many years of mentorship and guidance,” Hopkins said. “The timing is right for me and my family to make this move.”