Report: Former Washington coach Mike Hopkins to join Suns staff

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Former Washington Huskies head coach and Syracuse Orange assistant Mike Hopkins will join the Phoenix Suns coaching staff as an assistant under Mike Budenholzer, reports ESPN.

Hopkins spent the past seven years as head coach of the Huskies, where he won Pac-12 Coach of the Year in his first two seasons (2017-18, 2018-19).

At UW, he coached NBA players Jaden McDaniels of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Isaiah Stewart of the Detroit Pistons and Matisse Thybulle from the Portland Trail Blazers.

Thybulle won Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors playing in the heart of Hopkins’ 2-3 zone defense that the head coach brought to Washington. The defense was made famous by Hall of Fame head coach Jim Boeheim at Syracuse.

Hopkins spent 1995-2017 as an assistant for Syracuse and was designated to replace Boeheim there without a timetable for Boeheim’s retirement. Hopkins ultimately left to coach at Washington with Boeheim remaining in charge until 2023.

Hopkins is 122-111 in his head-coaching career, which includes a 4-5 record as an interim at Syracuse in place of Boeheim.

He also has experience in the professional space working on USA Basketball’s coaching staff at points from 1998-2012.

Washington fired Hopkins before the end of the 2023-24 season, but he finished out the season. The Huskies closed with a 17-15 record.

The Suns have reportedly already agreed to retain assistant coach David Fizdale and also added Chad Forcier, Chaisson Allen and Vince Legarza to Budenholzer’s staff.

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