UW HUSKIES

UW Huskies to bring back coach Mike Hopkins for 7th season

Mar 12, 2023, 1:12 PM

UW Huskies Mike Hopkins...

UW Huskies head coach Mike Hopkins speaks to his bench during a game against Gonzaga on Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

(AP Photo/Young Kwak)

SEATTLE (AP) — UW Huskies men’s basketball coach Mike Hopkins will return for his seventh season in charge at Washington despite four straight years without an NCAA Tournament appearance.

Wednesday: Colorado advances past UW Huskies in Pac-12 tourney opener

Washington athletic director Jen Cohen said in a statement Sunday that though the recently concluded season did not meet expectations, the school was sticking with Hopkins.

“After completing a postseason review of the program and after several in-depth discussions with coach Hopkins, I am hopeful that next season will once again see the Huskies competing for a Pac-12 championship and back in the NCAA Tournament,” Cohen said. “Coach Hopkins understands our expectations and is committed to make any and all necessary changes to get us there.”

Hopkins is 101-91 in his six seasons at Washington. The Huskies were 16-16 this season, finished eighth in the Pac-12 Conference and lost in the opening round of the conference tournament.

After a promising opening act with 20-plus wins in each of his first two seasons, the program has been stuck on a downward trajectory that’s led to calls from fans for a change in leadership.

Hopkins signed a six-year contract extension in 2019 and has two years remaining on the deal that pays him more than $3 million per season.

The 53-year-old had his most success in his first two seasons, going 21-13 in 2017-18. The following year, he went 27-9, winning the Pac-12 regular season title and taking the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eight years.

But those two seasons always came with an asterisk attached as Hopkins’ success came mostly with older players that came to Washington under former coach Lorenzo Romar. Once Hopkins’ recruiting became responsible for the bulk of the roster, the Huskies have struggled even with a handful of players that went on to be high NBA draft picks.

Washington went 15-17 in 2019-20 and a miserable 5-21 in the pandemic year of 2020-21. The Huskies were a .500 team the past two seasons, but struggled badly in showcase opportunities with convincing losses to the likes of Auburn, Gonzaga, UCLA and Arizona.

Before taking the head job at Washington, Hopkins was the top assistant and the coach-in-waiting at Syracuse. Instead of waiting for Jim Boeheim to retire, Hopkins jumped at the chance to take over a Pac-12 program when the Huskies moved on from Romar after the 2016-17 season.

Brock Huard remembers his UW Huskies football teammate Joe Jarzynka

UW Huskies

UW Huskies...

Christian Caple

Caple: Thoughts on Ana Mari Cauce, Big Ten and UW’s athletic budget

On Montlake's Christian Caple delves into three interesting topics surrounding the UW Huskies as they near their Big Ten debut.

15 hours ago

UW Huskies helmet...

Christian Caple

UW transfer Logan Sagapolu ‘grateful’ for new start, position

Incoming UW Huskies transfer Logan Sagapolu is ready to make the transition from defensive line to offensive line in Seattle.

2 days ago

Pac-12 UW Huskies Jadelyn Allchin...

Cliff Brunt

Dominant Pac-12 softball nears end with realignment set to scatter programs

Current members of the Pac-12 have dominated softball for most of its existence. Those programs will spread out next year.

12 days ago

Pac-12 UW Huskies Oregon...

Christian Caple

Caple: The toughest game for each Pac-12 team as they enter new leagues

The 2024 college football season will find 10 of the former Pac-12 members playing in three different conferences.

14 days ago

UW Huskies Carson Bruener...

Christian Caple

Caple: Revisiting UW Huskies’ 2020 recruiting class, of which only 5 remain

Only five of the UW Huskies’ 23 signees from 2020 remain on the roster, as a group that ranked 16th nationally has become the first class at UW truly affected by the advent of the transfer portal.

15 days ago

Apple Cup logo UW Huskies WSU Cougars...

Brent Stecker

The ‘TV’ home for Apple Cup is set, may create some controversy

The TV broadcast of the 2024 Apple Cup from Lumen Field between the UW Huskies and WSU Cougars won't technically be on a TV station.

16 days ago

UW Huskies to bring back coach Mike Hopkins for 7th season