Mike Hopkins won't return as Washington head coach, per report

TUCSON, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 24: Head coach Mike Hopkins of the Washington Huskies claps during the first half against the Arizona Wildcats at McKale Center on February 24, 2024 in Tucson, Arizona.  (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images / Getty Images)

The University of Washington has informed Mike Hopkins he will not return next season after seven years as the head coach of the men’s basketball program.

The school confirmed the news on Friday, which was first reported by Pete Thamel of ESPN.com.

Athletic director Troy Dannen elected to make the change for Washington after another disappointing season for the Huskies that saw them finish in the middle of the Pac-12 Conference. The Huskies have a 17-14 record this season with a 9-11 mark in conference after last night's win over Washington State.

"Mike has led the program with great integrity during his seven years at Washington, and remains a highly respected coach and one of the great gentlemen in the game," Dannen said in a statement. "Everyone at the university is grateful for his service, his commitment to the experience of our student-athletes and his leadership within the department. We wish Mike, Trisha and their children the very best in the future."

Hopkins has a buyout of nearly $3.1 million in his contract.

Hopkins, 54, was twice named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year in his first two seasons heading the program. The Huskies made it to the second round of the NIT in Hopkins’ first season in 2017-18, and followed that up with a Pac-12 regular season conference title following a 27-9 season in 2018-19. As a 9-seed in the NCAA Tournament, Washington beat Utah State 78-61 in the first round before being bounced out in an 81-59 loss to 1-seed North Carolina.

But that success disappeared after Hopkins’ first two seasons with the Huskies. Washington finished last in the Pac-12 in 2019-20 despite having two first-round NBA draft picks on the roster in Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels as freshmen. During a COVID-19 affected 2020-21 season, the Huskies managed just five wins in a 5-21 campaign where they were 11th in the conference.

Washington hasn’t come close to earning a postseason appearance since Hopkins’ second season on Montlake. 

The Huskies got off to a decent start this season with an 8-3 record in non-conference play, which included a 78-73 victory over No. 7 Gonzaga – the first win over Gonzaga by UW since 2005 and the first victory over a top 10 opponent since 2017-18. But Washington lost their first three games in conference play to Colorado, Utah, and Oregon and have scuffled ever since.

Washington will hope to retain top prospect Zoom Diallo – a former Curtis High School star that now plays for Prolific Prep in Napa, Calif., who is ranked in the top 40 in the country by 24/7 Sports.