Taking over with UW Huskies feels very personal for Danny Sprinkle

Mar 27, 2024, 5:09 PM

UW Huskies Danny Sprinkle...

Head coach Danny Sprinkle of the Utah State Aggies on Feb. 10, 2024. (Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

(Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) — It was personal for Danny Sprinkle when, after a decade as an assistant coach, his first chance at being a head coach came at his alma mater, Montana State. The feelings were very similar for Sprinkle after accepting the head coaching job with the UW Huskies.

UW Huskies hire Utah State’s Danny Sprinkle as men’s hoops coach

“This is personal, too. And not just my dad playing here, but like all of his friends that he played with. My sister, we grew up on Husky football. We still do. We watched the national championship game,” Sprinkle said Wednesday. “They’re probably going to get mad, but I would leave some Montana State and Utah State games to go watch the Husky game. I’m a fan of Husky football and athletics like everybody else is here too. So there is a personal touch.”

Sprinkle’s affinity for Washington is tied to father Bill playing football for the UW Huskies in the late 1960s. His family sat in the front row Wednesday; his dad wore socks with a Washington ‘W’ on them and was chatting with Washington football coach Jedd Fisch afterward.

But that connection with the school will forever be different now that Sprinkle’s being tasked with turning around a program that’s been to the NCAA Tournament once in the past 12 years.

For a school that reached the NCAAs six times between 2004-12, that lack of appearances in March Madness is unacceptable. And Sprinkle’s job is to now go from a casual fan of the school to being the one responsible for bringing change.

The rise for Sprinkle has been rapid and that wasn’t lost on the 47-year-old during his introductory press conference filled with boosters and some current and former Washington players. One player in attendance was RaeQuan Battle, who started his career at Washington before transferring to Montana State and playing for Sprinkle there.

Sprinkle noted that at the end of the 2018-2019 season, he was still an assistant at living in “a one-bedroom apartment” in Southern California before finally getting his break to be a head coach at Montana State.

He won one Big Sky Conference regular season and two tournament titles in his four seasons at Montana State. He parlayed that into the job at Utah State where the Aggies won the Mountain West regular season title this past season and beat TCU in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

In his five seasons as a head coach, Sprinkle is 109-50.

“Has it come fast? Yeah. But I’ve been dreaming about stuff,” Sprinkle said. “I was dreaming about winning championships at Montana State 10 years before I got hired. I had no idea I was going to end up at Utah State; Logan, Utah, I’m glad I did because it’s all part of preparing me for a job like this.”

Sprinkle said he’s confident the foundations to the success of his teams the last few seasons can translate to Washington and its pending move to the Big Ten, even if the style of play will be different.

“We have to have our system and formulate it, and we got to make people adapt to us. But I think our system with some of the talent we’ll be able to get with some elite level players, no doubt we will,” Sprinkle said.

Insider View: Who is new UW Huskies coach Danny Sprinkle?

UW Huskies

UW Huskies football...

Brent Stecker

Insider thinks UW Huskies can keep up in Big Ten debut season

"I think they can still come through with a decent year," longtime college football insider Phil Steele says of the UW Huskies.

2 days ago

Penn State whiteout Auburn 2021...

Cameron Van Til

UW Huskies will experience one of college football’s great traditions

The UW Huskies will play in Penn State's annual "Whiteout" game on Nov. 9 in their first-ever trip to 106,000-seat Beaver Stadium.

4 days ago

UW Huskies football Maurice Heims National Championship 2024 Getty 900...

Christian Caple

Caple: 8 players who could raise UW Huskies’ ceiling

With preseason practices quickly approaching, here are eight players who could improve the UW Huskies football fortunes by producing in 2024.

8 days ago

UW Huskies...

Christian Caple

UW Huskies: 5 recruits to watch who could still join program

With no more limits on the number of prospects who can sign in a single class — and several sought-after recruits still considering the UW Huskies — Jedd Fisch’s 2025 recruiting class isn’t yet complete.

9 days ago

UW Huskies Jedd Fisch spring press conference 2024...

Cameron Van Til

Is Fisch delivering on goal of UW Huskies’ best recruiting class ever?

New UW Huskies head coach Jedd Fisch is off to a strong start in making his 2025 recruiting class the best in program history.

11 days ago

UW Huskies baseball general...

Brent Stecker

UW Huskies hire Olympia native as new baseball head coach

Olympia native Eddie Smith has joined the UW Huskies as head baseball coach after a three-year tenure at Utah Valley.

11 days ago

Taking over with UW Huskies feels very personal for Danny Sprinkle