No timetable, but Hopkins will succeed Boeheim

Updated: May 15, 2007, 3:34 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins will officially be named as Jim Boeheim's successor as head coach, multiple sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday.

Mike Hopkins
Gregory Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty ImagesFuture Syracuse head coach Mike Hopkins played for Jim Boeheim and just finished his 12th season as an assistant.

There is no timetable for Hopkins to replace Boeheim, a Hall of Fame and national championship-winning coach, but Hopkins and the university finally have reached an agreement to put a succession plan in writing. The move has been in the works for months, but final details are being worked out in assistant coach Hopkins' current contract.

An announcement could be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

Boeheim, 62, won the 2003 national title with Hopkins on his staff and Carmelo Anthony on the floor in his only season with the Orange. Boeheim, who is currently the president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the leader of USA Basketball's junior national program, has no intentions of retiring anytime soon.

But, like many longtime basketball coaches, he wanted to have a say in who will be the next leader of the program he helped build.

Hopkins completed his 12th season as a Boeheim assistant after finishing his playing career with the Orange in 1993. He came to Syracuse from Mater Dei High in Los Angeles and had a brief professional career in the CBA and in Europe before pursuing coaching.

Boeheim just finished his 31st season at Syracuse, coaching the Orange to the NIT and a 24-11 record. He is 750-264 overall, coaching Syracuse to 25 NCAA tournament berths and three Final Fours (1987, 1996 and 2003). The former Syracuse walk-on and senior co-captain of a 22-6 team in 1966 also has had the court at the Carrier Dome named for him.

Boeheim's 750 victories are tied with Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun for 12th all-time and the most of any coach at his alma mater. Boeheim and Calhoun also have the fourth-most wins of any active coach, behind Bob Knight, Mike Krzyzewski and Lute Olson, and Boeheim is one 20-win season away from tying Dean Smith's all-time mark of 30 such seasons at North Carolina.

Hopkins has been one of the most instrumental recruiters during his time at Syracuse (among others, he recruited Gerry McNamara, Paul Harris and incoming freshmen Jonny Flynn, Antonio "Scoop" Jardine and Rick Jackson, as well as current NBA players Jason Hart and Hakim Warrick). Ensuring that Hopkins will replace Boeheim should squelch any negative recruiting about who would take over for Boeheim when he retires.

Tabbing an assistant, in writing, as a successor is hardly new. Gonzaga did it with Mark Few for Dan Monson and then again with Billy Grier for Few, before Grier left this spring to be the head coach at San Diego. Grier did that once he realized that Few, who like Grier is in his early 40s, wasn't going to leave anytime soon.

But coaches like Sean Sutton (for his father Eddie Sutton at Oklahoma State), Tony Bennett (for his father Dick at Washington State) and Tom Izzo (for Jud Heathcote at Michigan State) have been in similar situations.

Like Hopkins, Pat Knight has been tabbed as the next coach -- in writing -- at Texas Tech, once his father, Bob, retires or decides to move on.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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