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Washington coach is giving his bonus back to fans in a unique way

Washington head coach Mike Hopkins gestures to his team during an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon, Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Seattle. Oregon won 72-64. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Instead of pocketing the $15,000 bonus he received for winning Pac-12 coach of the year last season, Washington men’s basketball coach Mike Hopkins is giving that money away.

Hopkins will distribute $12 Starbucks gift cards to Huskies supporters who show up to the Starbucks at Seattle’s U-Village on Thursday from 2-3 p.m. Fans who show proof they’re Washington basketball season-ticket holders will receive an additional gift card.

“It was a great honor to be named Pac-12 Coach of the Year, but the reality is this is a tribute to our entire team, our program and the University community,” Hopkins said. “I wouldn’t have won this award without such incredible support, so I wanted to give back to some of the many important people who have made this a memorable first season possible, and have welcomed me and my family into this incredible Seattle community.”

Hopkins earned his Pac-12 coach of the year award by exceeding modest expectations in his debut season as Washington’s head coach.

The year before Hopkins arrived, Lorenzo Romar’s Huskies went 9-22 despite the presence of future No. 1 pick in the NBA draft Markelle Fultz. Hopkins took a similar roster minus Fultz and molded it into a 21-win team that was in position to make the NCAA tournament before dropping six of nine games down the stretch to settle for the NIT.

A byproduct of Hopkins’ success in his debut season was Washington’s Hec Edmundson Pavilion reemerging as one of the West Coast’s most formidable home courts. The Huskies finished 15-4 at home including an early February sweep of Arizona and Arizona State in front of a pair of lively sellout crowds.

In late January, Hopkins took out a full-page ad in The Seattle Times  thanking Washington fans for their support.

Now he’s done one better, by offering them free coffee as a further show of gratitude.


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Jeff Eisenberg is a college basketball writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!