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 Elijah Jackson...
Christian Caple

Caple: 6 UW Huskies who could make noise in spring football

In UW Huskies football insider Christian Caple's debut article for Seattle Sports, he shares the players he'll be watching closely during spring practice.
2 days ago
UW Huskies...
SeattleSports.com Staff

UW Huskies football insider Christian Caple joins Seattle Sports

The UW Huskies are on the rise in college football, and Christian Caple, the preeminent reporter on the beat, has joined Seattle Sports.
4 days ago
UW Huskies...
The Associated Press

O’Brien hits late 3, Colorado advances past UW Huskies 74-68

Luke O’Brien made a go-ahead 3-pointer to help Colorado beat the UW Huskies 74-68 in the opening game of the Pac-12 Tournament.
16 days ago
UW Huskies Joe Jarzynka...
Brent Stecker

Brock Huard remembers his UW Huskies teammate Joe Jarzynka

Former UW Huskies QB Brock Huard shared his thoughts on the death of his former teammate Joe Jarzynka, a memorable player in UW history.
18 days ago
The Associated Press

WSU Cougars beat UW Huskies 93-84 for 6th straight win

TJ Bamba scored a career-high 36 points and WSU won its sixth straight Pac-12 game for the first time in 30 years with a 93-84 win over UW.
22 days ago
UW Huskies Stanford...
The Associated Press

Jones hits 4 3s to lead Stanford past UW Huskies 81-69

Spencer Jones hit four 3-pointers and scored 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field, and Stanford beat the UW Huskies 81-69.
26 days ago
UW Huskies to bring back coach Mike Hopkins for 7th season