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BREAKING: Washington hires Mike Hopkins as head coach

The presumed heir to Jim Boeheim leaves Syracuse’s future in doubt.

NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Longtime Syracuse Orange assistant coach Mike Hopkins is leaving to become the head coach at the University of Washington, Washington Athletics announced on Sunday.

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman first broke the news of Hopkins’ departure. Hopkins’ deal is reportedly for six years.

Washington Athletics confirmed it was hiring Hopkins in a press release shortly after reports broke on Twitter.

"I can't express enough thanks to Coach Boeheim for so many years of mentorship and guidance," Hopkins said in a statement. "The timing is right for me and my family to make this move."

Hopkins, 47, will replace Lorenzo Romar, who was fired on Thursday after 15 seasons with the Huskies. Romar went 298-196 during his time at Washington, but the Huskies went just 9-22 this season, including 2-12 in conference play, despite coaching a team that featured presumed top five pick Markelle Fultz.

Hopkins was formally named the eventual successor to Jim Boeheim in 2015. It was expected Hopkins would take over the reigns at Syracuse after Jim Boeheim scheduled-retirement following the 2017-18 season.

Hopkins played at Syracuse under Boeheim from 1989-1993, before returning to the Orange to serve as an assistant coach in 1996. In his 21 seasons working as an assistant coach, Hopkins has been credited as helping Boeheim on the recruiting circuit and developing guards and centers.

Hopkins went 4-5 as Syracuse’s interim coach during the 2015-2016 season while Boeheim served a nine-game suspension for his role in Syracuse’s NCAA infractions.

Hopkins’ departure leaves Syracuse’s succession plan for life without Boeheim in a cloud of doubt, as it’s now no longer clear who will succeed Boeheim or if the 72-year-old coach will stick to his plans of retiring after the 2017-18 season after all.