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What’s Next for Mike Hopkins?

Of course, the obvious outcomes from the announcement Wednesday are that Daryl Gross is out as Athletic Director and coach Jim Boeheim will retire in three years. So to find the new Athletic Director, a search committee has been put together by the Chancellor and Board of Trustees to find Gross’ replacement. And the prevailing thought for years now has been that Mike Hopkins will just be the next head coach, Gross even said over the years that Hopkins is the “coach-in-waiting.”

 

But unless that is written into his contract—something we do not know as his contract is not public—none of Gross’ words mean anything in regard to Hopkins now that the AD is out of the picture. It is something that has almost been dismissed, but Mike Hopkins may not be the next coach at Syracuse.

 

In three years, Jim Boeheim “intends” to step away from his role as coach of the Orange, and SU will need a new coach to be hired under the leadership of a new Athletic Director. There are a couple of possibilities.

 

1) Mike Hopkins becomes head coach and has a nice long run:

 

While I don’t feel optimistically about this idea, there is a possibility that Hop takes over and holds the job he has waited 20+ years to get for about another 20 years. The program wins another title or two. Gerry McNamara becomes the next hot coaching name and becomes successful. The Orange continues to be a powerhouse program and maybe there is a new practice building or a court somewhere that gets Hop’s name on it the way that Boeheim has been recognized in the Dome.

 

2) Hopkins gets the job—but only keeps it for a few years:

 

Think about it; Boeheim leaves in three years, which is two years into the scholarship reduction punishment, leaving two years left over. That may not exactly be an intriguing situation for an outsider to come in and take over. In this case, Hopkins gets the job that he has coveted for a while and is at the helm as the sanctions run their course and then Hopkins gets the boot from the new Athletic Director so they can bring in their own guy.

 

3) Hopkins never gets the Syracuse head-coaching job:

 

This remains a legitimate possibility. A new Athletic Director comes in and wants to move past the previous regime of Jim Boeheim and all his assistants. This would lead to finding an outside coach in about three years. Well, the situation may not be ideal for an outsider, especially an established mid-major type coach like Shaka Smart or Archie Miller, but it may need to be done.

 

As explained, there are multiple different ways that this could go down. Also, there could be a wide coaching search and Hopkins dazzles the Athletic Director and coaching search committee and gets the job on his own merit. But to say that Hopkins is the next head coach because Gross has always said Hopkins is the next head coach no longer holds up—unless of course it is in his contract.

 

During Thursday morning’s press conference, Boeheim did say that the decision to hire the next coach lies with Chancellor Kent Syverud and the new AD, but he said he “fervently hopes” that Hopkins is the next coach of the Syracuse Orange.

 

Posted:  Seth Goldberg
The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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