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UW hires Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins as head coach

ESPN reports Mike Hopkins will sign a six-year deal to become the UW men's basketball coach. (AP)

The University of Washington announced the hiring Sunday of long-time Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins as the school’s men’s basketball coach. UW Director of Athletics Jennifer Cohen announced the hiring around 9 a.m. Sunday after multiple reports broke the news.

“I’m extremely excited to welcome Mike and his family to Seattle,” Cohen said in a press 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.”

ESPN and CBS Sports report that Hopkins, 47, will sign a six-year deal to become the Huskies’ new coach, replacing Lorenzo Romar, who was fired Thursday after leading the team for the last 15 years.

Hopkins has been an assistant for Jim Boeheim at Syracuse since 1995 and also played guard for the Orange from 1989-1993. He was expected to replace Boeheim, who turns 73 in November, when the veteran head coach retires after the 2017-18 season. Hopkins had been named the Orange’s coach-in-waiting in 2015. He will be the 19th head coach in Washington Basketball history.

“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 Hopkins on staff, Syracuse has advanced to postseason play in all but one seasons. He was a part of 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 2003 National Championship, four Final Fours, five Elite Eights and 10 Sweet 16s, plus four NIT berths. Syracuse never dipped below a .550 record while Hopkins was on staff.

“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.”

Hopkins is known for being heavily involved in recruiting and overseeing the development of Syracuse’s guards. He played a key role in recruiting players including future pros Carmelo Anthony, Jonny Flynn, Jason Hart and Andy Rautins.