The University of Washington’s Mike Hopkins Monday was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year and junior Matisse Thybulle became the first player in UW history to be named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. The announcement came hours after forward Noah Dickerson made the All-Pac-12 first team and Jaylen Nowell the all-freshman team and Pac-12 honorable mention.
In his first year in after replacing Lorenzo Romar, Hopkins is the fourth UW coach to earn conference coach of the year honors and first since 2012. He joins Romar (2012, 2009, 2005), Bob Bender (1996) and Marv Harshman (1982, 1984), but is the first to take home the award in his first season.
Hopkins is the sixth to earn the honor in his first year, joining Stanford’s Dick DiBiaso (1976), UCLA’s Gary Cunningham (1978), Oregon State’s Jim Anderson (1990), California’s Ben Braun (1997) and Washington State’s Tony Bennett (2007).
Hopkins led the Huskies to a 20-11 regular season record, UW’s 29th 20-win season in program history. UW made a huge jump in wins after finishing 9-22 a year ago, its largest move between seasons since 1936-37 and 1938 when UW went from 15-11 to 29-7 the following year. Washington went from 2-16 to 10-8 in Pac-12 play, biggest jump in UW history.
In Dickerson, Washington had the first forward since 2010-11 to earn Pac-12 first-team honors. UW had three on the all-conference teams for the first time since the 2011-12 season.
Thybulle is one of three Pac-12 players to post 190 steals. He is the fourth player in UW history to earn defensive team honors, joining Aziz N’Diaye (2011), Justin Holiday (2010) and Venoy Overton (2010).
Washington opens the Pac-12 tournament as a No. 7 seed, facing No. 10 Oregon State at 6 p.m. Wednesday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.