Washington Huskies

UW, Mike Hopkins agree to new six-year contract

University of Washington head coach Mike Hopkins coaches the team in the second half. The Washington Huskies played the California Golden Bears in a NCAA basketball game at Hec Edmundson Pavilion in Seattle, Wash., on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019.
University of Washington head coach Mike Hopkins coaches the team in the second half. The Washington Huskies played the California Golden Bears in a NCAA basketball game at Hec Edmundson Pavilion in Seattle, Wash., on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. joshua.bessex@gateline.com

Washington and head coach Mike Hopkins agreed to a new six-year, $17.5 million contract on Thursday. The deal will keep Hopkins at UW through the 2024-2025 season.

Hopkins was named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year in each of his first two seasons with the Huskies. Asked about the deal on Thursday, Hopkins quickly turned the focus back toward his team.

“I’ve always believed in surrounding yourself with great people and I have at the University of Washington,” he said. “I’m excited to be here for a long time. But this is all about the kids. This is the experience for the kids to have an opportunity to hopefully finish out what has been a successful season. It’s not about me. It never has been.”

Hopkins will reportedly be paid $2.5 million next season. His base salary will increase to $2.8 million in year two. It then increases in $100,000 increments through 2025.

Senior guard Matisse Thybulle was quick to praise the culture Hopkins has built at UW.

“He’s a players’ coach,” Thybulle said. “I think that’s a huge thing. I think going forward his ability to build relationships with his guys. We’ve only been with him for two years, but (for) guys to start off with him and see how their relationships grow going into their third and fourth years.

“And just to be able to use that as a recruiting tool because we all know we love him. And it’s becoming more and more known throughout the country he’s a great guy and a better coach. The family he’s created at UW has been great and we can’t wait to see where it goes from here.”

UW finished 9-22 overall and 2-16 in the Pac-12 in 2016-17, the season before Hopkins took over. Last year, Hopkins guided the Huskies to a 21-13 finish, including 10-8 in the Pac-12. UW also advanced to the second-round of the NIT.

This season, the Huskies are 26-8. They finished 15-3 in Pac-12 play, winning the regular season title. They also advanced to the Pac-12 tournament championship game and are making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011. A No. 9 seed, UW will face eighth-seeded Utah State on Friday.

“Coach Hopkins has led our men’s basketball program back to national prominence in just two short years and I couldn’t be more ecstatic to extend his contract,” athletic director Jen Cohen said in a UW release. “Not only has Coach Hopkins made an immediate impact on the on-court success of our men’s basketball program, but he has fully embraced this campus and the entire city of Seattle.”

Hopkins is just the second UW coach to reach 20 wins in each of his first two years.

“Coach Hopkins has been one of the best coaches I could ever ask for,” said sophomore guard Jaylen Nowell. “And when he comes in day in and day out, he works very hard on everything. He loves all of us. We love him. And we just love coming in and working hard for him.

“The first year was exciting. For him to come in and especially this year with just the energy he gives us, he brings us all together as a team, brings us together even more as a family. That’s really one thing that he really harps on is that we’re all family and that’s what we’ve all been.”

When Hopkins was hired in 2017, he signed a six-year deal worth a total of $12.3 million. He earned $80,000 in bonuses this season: $40,000 for winning the Pac-12 regular-season title, $25,000 for reaching the NCAA tournament and $15,000 for being named the conference’s coach of the year.

  Comments