Washington is moving into the Big Ten with a new face leading Husky basketball.

Mike Hopkins spent 7 seasons with the program but was unable to guide Washington to consistent success. He did lead the Huskies to an NCAA Tournament appearance in the 2018-19 season but was just 118-106 overall.

To make the move into the B1G, Washington is handing the reins to Danny Sprinkle. He is coming off 3 straight NCAA Tournament appearances at 2 different programs, most recently guiding Utah State to the second round this year.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to President Cauce and the athletic department leadership for entrusting me to lead the men’s basketball program at this world-class institution,” said Sprinkle. “It was going to take something special for me to leave Logan, and the University of Washington was it. The university means a great deal to our family and I am excited to return to my home state. With a strong commitment to excellence and incredible fan support, we will recruit exceptional young men who will take pride in wearing the purple and gold, who will win championships and who will leave UW with an impressive degree. I am excited to get started and to be a part of such a special place.”

Sprinkle arrives with family connections to the Huskies. His father, Bill Sprinkle, was a defensive back for the program in the 1960s. A rising name in college basketball, Sprinkle was expected to be in the running for the Oklahoma State job as one of the top candidates in the cycle.

Background on Sprinkle

An alum of Montana State, Sprinkle returned to his alma mater as an assistant (2006-08) and landed his first head coaching job there in 2019. He turned things around in his third season, guiding the Bobcats to regular-season and tournament titles in the Big Sky Conference. He followed that up with another Big Sky Tournament title in 2023.

After making the move to Utah State, Sprinkle delivered the first-ever outright Mountain West title to the Aggies. The program also won its first NCAA Tournament game since 2001 with an 88-72 win over TCU.

As for their playing style, Utah State was efficient while shooting 49% from the floor and averaging just shy of 80 points per game. The Aggies also averaged 22.4 free-throw attempts per game but did not heavily rely on the 3-point shot.

On paper, this is a win for Washington as the Huskies find their guy and a head coach with ties to the region. Sprinkle has won at every stop in his coaching career, but that doesn’t change the immediate outlook for their hopes in the Big Ten.

The conference is already among the toughest leagues in the country, and Sprinkle will have his work cut out to compete in the new-look B1G alongside UCLA, USC and Oregon. Not to mention other stalwarts like Purdue, Illinois and Michigan State.