The Mike Hopkins head coaching rumors annually swirl this time of year. As we creep toward the tournament, there’s always a major conference school searching for the next great young assistant. And sometimes the arrow lands on Hop. Understandably so. He’s learned under a Hall of Fame coach for decades. Hop has proven his worth on the recruiting trail. He’s approachable and charismatic.
But he’s also ours.
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I graduated from SU in ’01, and while working at WAER radio as a student we ran a segment called “Mike Check.” Before every basketball game one of the play-by-play broadcasters did a five minute chat with Hop. Every game. For a student radio station. And he couldn’t have been more respectful of young, nerve-racked broadcasters. So I spoke to Hop a bunch. And I remember thinking, “Man, he’s been an assistant here for a long time. He’s gonna get antsy and leave for another job.”
That was 12 years ago.