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Washington Athletics | March 19, 2017

Washington hires Hopkins as head coach

  Mike Hopkins spent 22 seasons as an assistant at Syracuse.

SEATTLE – Mike Hopkins will take the helm of the University of Washington men's basketball program, UW Director of Athletics Jennifer Cohen announced Sunday. Hopkins comes to Washington from Syracuse University, where he spent 22 seasons alongside Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim. In 2015 Syracuse named him head coach designate, set to take over the Orange program after Boeheim's retirement following the 2017-18 season.

"I'm extremely excited to welcome Mike and his family to Seattle," Cohen said. "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."

Hopkins, 47, had been a member of the Syracuse Orange coaching staff since 1995 and 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. "Together, I believe we can build something very special in Seattle, and I can't wait to get started."

During his time in New York, Syracuse advanced to postseason play in all but one year. 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.

"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."

With the Orange, Hopkins spent his time in New York heavily involved in recruiting and overseeing the development of the SU guards before switching to overseeing the posts during the last four years. He played a key role in the recruitment and success of Carmelo Anthony, Rakeem Christmas, Johnny Flynn, Jason Hart, Gerry McNamara, Andy Rautins and many more who all were able to pursue professional basketball careers either in the NBA or overseas.  Additionally, six players earned consensus All-American honors while Hopkins was on staff.

The Syracuse alum not only made an impact with the Orange, but he also played a major role in the success of Team USA Basketball. Hopkins has been a court coach for nine various Team USA staffs which have gone on to win six championships.

He first started with the 21-and-under team in 2000 and 2001 helping with player evaluation for the club that went on to win gold. In 2006, he was with the Senior Men's team before rejoining the staff in 2010 where he travelled with the team en route to their World Championship Title in Turkey.

Hopkins was named the co-coach of the USA Basketball Select Team in 2012 and helped the squad prepare for the Olympics in London, where he served as a court coach as USA won gold. Most recently he played a role in gold medal finishes at the 2014 World Championships and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

As a student-athlete himself, Hopkins became the Orange's starting shooting guard his junior year en route to the team winning the 1992 Big East Championship. Outside of playing 111 career games in the Carrier Dome, he was also named team captain as a senior en route to averaging 9.2 points and 3.7 rebounds.

Hopkins went on to play in the Continental Basketball Association before ending his professional career after stints in the Netherlands and Turkey. Prior to his collegiate experience. The San Mateo, California native, was a member of the 1987 California State Championship team with Mater Dei High School where he played alongside LeRon Ellis.

Hopkins earned his undergraduate degree in speech communications from Syracuse in 1993. He will be joined in Seattle by his wife Tricia, and their sons, Michael Griffith Jr. and Grant Richard, and their daughter, Ella Grace. 

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