Washington’s Mike Hopkins emotional goodbye to Huskies will have fans in tears

Washington basketball head coach Mike Hopkins turns emotional after final game with the Huskies.

It was an emotional farewell, as expected, with Mike Hopkins at the helm. Seated alongside Keion Brooks Jr. at a podium, the Washington men’s basketball coach paused, took a deep breath, and uttered, “Poise, I tell you poise” perhaps as a self-reminder to keep his composure and not succumb to emotions.

Just five days following the announcement of Hopkins’ dismissal, effective at the end of the season, Washington basketball players made a valiant effort to extend his coaching tenure, but they fell short in an 80-74 loss to the University of Southern Carolina.

Hopkins expressed that the most fulfilling aspect of his tenure was witnessing players like Keion Brooks progress, graduate, and being surrounded by exceptional individuals at UW. Despite wishing for more victories, Hopkins cherished every moment of his time with the program.

“Great places are made by being around great people, and I’ve been very lucky in my seven years at the University of Washington,” Hopkins said in his postgame interview via Niko Tamurian of KOMO News.

Mike Hopkins and UW’s Pac-12 exit

The era of Mike Hopkins, and notably Washington’s 108-year connection with the Pac-12, concluded on Wednesday afternoon at T-Mobile Arena, mirroring Hopkins’ tenure with the Huskies.

Under Hopkins’ leadership, UW holds a 2-11 record this season and an 8-45 overall record when conceding 80 or more points. Additionally, the team has struggled in close games this season, posting a 5-9 record in games decided by six points or fewer.

Washington choking against the Trojans

Furthermore, Washington has faced challenges against the Trojans, losing nine consecutive games to them since 2020, with the most recent defeat being an 82-75 loss on March 2.

In the first half, Washington got off to a strong start, shooting 57.1% from the field, which included making nine of 13 attempts from three-point range.

Hopkins’ Huskies gained a seven-point lead early in the second half and maintained a 59-54 advantage after another three-pointer from Wood with 8:11 remaining. However, USC responded with a 10-0 run, flipping the five-point deficit into a 64-59 lead at the 5:51 mark, and held onto the lead for the remainder of the game.

Throughout the season, the Huskies have encountered difficulties in the closing minutes of games, and once again, they failed to execute enough plays at the end to prevent a loss.

“I’ve been very lucky in my seven years at the University of Washington,” Hopkins stressed. “I’ve been blessed.”

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Nathan Yasis is a writer for ClutchPoints.

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