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Coach Hop: 'I Was Born In California, But I Was Raised In Syracuse'

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Mike Hopkins talks about the USC job and working for Jim Boeheim.

Nate Shron

There's a great read over the The Com (my personal shorthand name for Syracuse.com) that doubles as a much-needed trip inside the mind of a guy who will (probably) be super-duper important to us. Mike Waters sat down to talk to lady-in-waiting Mike Hopkins about how close he came to leave for the USC job (close) and how he's feeling about his status as Syracuse basketball's heir apparent.

Hopkins talks about how he gets calls from search firms routinely. He's always quick to say no but feels flattered, which is completely understandible. The USC job, however, was a different story for a couple reasons.

"I'd grown up a Syracuse basketball fan and a USC football fan,'' Hopkins said.

"Mom and Dad would love to see me,'' Hopkins said. "They're older. It would be great for them. I'd love them to have that moment. And to create your own legacy. To create something that's never been done at a place where you feel like you could have success.''

Hopkins says that, early in the NCAAs, the feeling was that the job would be his. Then the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles happened. USC ended up chosen FGCU's Andy Enfield, which means their run in the NCAA Tournament not only led to Georgetown's first-round exit (and this GIF) but also single-handidly elevated Enfield over Hopkins. It might go down as the most important performance in Syracuse basketball history that Syracuse had nothing to do with.

Hopkins admits he had a lot of conflicting emotions when he didn't get the job (again, understandable). Boeheim went on to say Hopkins was the best candidate for the job because he's Jim Boeheim and he's an awesome guy. it's just one more thing in a long line of positive things Mike Hopkins has learned under Jimmy B's reign of terror:

"The best thing happened for me. I'm still at Syracuse. I've got the greatest job in the world. I work for one of the greatest coaches in any sport in college athletics.''

"I'd like to protect a legacy that Jim Boeheim has created,'' he added. "I feel like I'm taking over the family business. There's nothing more special and more honorable than to have that opportunity.''

Guys, you're gonna like The Mike Hopkins Era. You know, when it happens...

Go read the piece.