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Syracuse head coach-designate Hopkins accepts top job at Washington

By Eric Reinhardt


Mike Hopkins HeadshotSEATTLE  — Mike Hopkins, head coach-designate of the Syracuse University men’s basketball program, will become the next head coach at the University of Washington (UW), that university announced Sunday.

Hopkins spent 22 seasons on the staff of Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim. 

Syracuse in 2015 named him head coach-designate, and he was set to take over the Orange program after Boeheim's scheduled retirement following the 2017-18 season. Syracuse early Sunday evening announced it had reached a contract extension with Boeheim that lasts beyond the 2017-18 season, but the school didn't specify a time frame.

Hopkins, 47, had been a member of the Orange coaching staff since 1995 and will be the 19th head coach in Washington basketball history, according to a University of Washington news release.

“I'm extremely excited to welcome Mike and his family to Seattle,” Jennifer Cohen, UW director of athletics, said in the school’s release. “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.”

During his time with Syracuse, the Orange advanced to postseason play in all but one year, Washington noted in its release. He 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.

Additionally, Syracuse never dipped below a .550 record while Hopkins was on staff.

“The University of Washington is such a unique place, with a world-class University, an exciting basketball history and unbelievable fan support,” Hopkins said in the release. “Together, I believe we can build something very special in Seattle, and I can’t wait to get started.”

With the Orange, Hopkins spent his time “heavily” involved in recruiting and overseeing the development of the Syracuse guards before switching to overseeing the centers during the last four years, according to the Washington release.

He “played a key role in the recruitment and success” of Carmelo Anthony, Rakeem Christmas, Johnny Flynn, Jason Hart, Gerry McNamara, and Andy Rautins.

Each player was able to pursue professional basketball careers either in the NBA or overseas.

“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.”


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PHOTO CAPTION:  Mike Hopkins, head coach-designate of the Syracuse University men’s basketball program, is leaving the school to become the next head coach of the University of Washington (UW), UW announced Sunday. (Photo credit:, the website of Syracuse University Athletics)


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