When I heard the new that longtime Syracuse Men’s Basketball assistant coach, Mike Hopkins, took the job as the Washington Basketball’s coach, I was shocked. After all, Hopkins was supposed to take over the program after next year and he was named Boeheim’s successor in 2007. But it seems like Hopkins was tired of waiting and after all these years, he finally accepted a head coaching position. Then after news broke of Hopkins leaving, Jim Boeheim was given a contract extension that reportedly runs through the 2021-22 season. So what does that mean for the Syracuse program and the coaching staff?
First of all, we have to wonder if Hopkins left for Washington before Boeheim was given his contract extension or because of his contract extension. After all, Hopkins has been waiting to take over for Boeheim since 2007, and has been an assistant coach since 1996. Boeheim was supposed to retire at the end of the 2017-18 season because of the NCAA scandal, but fans have always figured that he was always going to go out on his own terms, because thats the type of person that Boeheim is. So when it comes to this contract extension, this has got to be Boeheim’s way of going out on his own terms. Hopkins doesn’t want to wait another five years for a job he was promised back in 2007 and heads to Washington to finally get a shot at being a head coach. And I wish him the best of luck, because with all the handwork he has put in at Syracuse, Hopkins deserves to be a successful head coach.
So with Hopkins gone, what does it mean for the program now? Hopkins was Boeheim’s main recruiter, but it seems for now that everyone who has signed with Syracuse for next year is staying. However, there are reports of Tyler Lydon declaring for the NBA draft. Hopkins recruited Lydon, and the two were very close, so you have to wonder if this was a factor in Lydon’s decision. With Hopkins gone, Adrien Autry is taking over as the associate coach, which means he may be Boeheim’s successor now, and Gerry McNamara will take over Autry’s spot.
Even though Hopkins has left, I am delighted that Jim Boeheim won’t be gone after next year. This contract extension is basically letting him stay at the program for however long he likes. Also, this extension will give him the opportunity to get his 1000th NCAA sanctioned win. Boeheim already put in 21 years as head coach by the time I was born. I can’t imagine watching a Syracuse game without him on the sidelines and thankfully, I won’t have to for another five years.