University of Washington Huskies Mens Basketball head coach Mike Hopkins names his new coaching staff
From the moment the University of Washington Huskies Men’s Basketball Team hired head coach Mike Hopkins, he was already behind on three very important assignments.
I. Sell his vision to current players and recruits
II. Recruit players for the 2018 Basketball season
III. Hire/Confirm New Coaching Staff
While we haven’t any updates on his top two assignments, we can share that Percy Allen of the Seattle Times reports he has found his coaching staff. Allen reports the three assistant coaches are Will Conroy, who remains from Lorenzo Romar’s staff; Jason Hart, hired from the staff of USC with previous ties to Hopkins; and Tim O’Toole, also with ties to Hopkins and hired from the staff of California.
What of Michael Porter Sr.?
Rules in the NCAA permit three assistant coaches. Now with the three named coaches, there seems to be no room to retain Michael Porter Sr.
On one hand, some believe Michael Porter Sr. has already been offered a job to join the coaching staff of the University of Missouri. There, he would join head coach Cuonzo Martin. On the other hand, it will be no surprise if he brings his son, Jontay Porter, who recently reversed his commitment to the Washington Huskies recruitment class of 2018.
The Coaching Staff
Will Conroy was the very short term interim head coach following the dismissal of Lorenzo Romar. While relatively inexperienced, Conroy is an excellent choice. Consider his role that of the segue, or even vanguard, from the old to the new. Conroy is new to coaching. As such, he is still forming his “style”.
He will benefit greatly form the high energy Hopkins. And Conroy will be the coach who knows the history of the team, and holds the greatest knowledge about the players. Finally, Conroy will likely be tasked with the person of first contact should any player or recruit need a coach’s ear.
Jason Hart is the next in line. Hart is an assistant coach who hails from southern California. When Hopkins was one of the finalists in the running for the head coaching job at USC in 2013, Hart was reported to be ready to join him as an assistant. When USC chose Andy Enfield over Hopkins, Hart followed through to be hired as an assistant for USC. During his tenure, Hart has proven to be incredibly effective at recruiting, helping USC land in the NCAA tournament.
Tim O’Toole is the third assistant coach. In fact, he was an assistant coach when Hopkins played at Syracuse. A venerable veteran of NCAA coaching, O’Toole will be the sage voice of wisdom and reason among the staff. His career has spanned nearly 30 years of coaching, and he has assisted at nine different college programs.
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What About Michael Porter Jr.?
In the core of all the national interest is the future of top ranked small forward Michael Porter Jr. While some suggest he never signed his National Letter of Intent, I will presume that he has done so.
For now, Michael Porter Jr. could simply see his original intentions through. He could play for the University of Washington Huskies Mens Basketball team in the 2017-2018 season. That would be the simplest solution.
Ah, but life is complex and complicated, isn’t it?
The National Letter of Intent is to the University and not to the coach. Students remain bound to the NLI even if the head coach is no longer with the school. Should Michael Porter Jr. decided to join his father and brother, he could very likely lose a year of eligibility and not be permitted to play basketball for a year.
There are extenuating circumstances and often those circumstances remain between a school, the player and the family. But Michael Porter Jr. is already somewhat of a national celebrity, and any effort on his part to pull out of an NLI will hit the headlines of the nation.
There will likely be a story in the making as player and University sort it all out. For now, the University of Washington Huskies have a full basketball coaching staff.