Joel Hopkins Inks 3-Year Extension at Shaw University

Photo Courtesy Shaw Athletics

Shaw University announced Tuesday that men’s basketball head coach Joel Hopkins has signed a three-year contract extension.

Hopkins led the Bears to a Southern Division title for the second consecutive season while compiling a 20-9 overall record and two players selected First-Team All-CIAA during the 2017-18 campaign.

“The University is so pleased to extend the contract of Coach Joel Hopkins,” said Interim President Paulette Dillard. “Coach Hopkins is an incredibly talented basketball coach, and he excels as a life coach for the young men on his team. He is constantly reminding me about the importance of the whole ‘individual’ not just as a student athlete.”

Since his return to the helm of the men’s basketball program, Hopkins has compiled a record of 46-39 overall. In addition, Hopkins has garnered two CIAA Southern Division titles and five players named to the All-CIAA Team. For his career, Hopkins has an all-time record of 88-54 overall.

“We are very pleased that Coach Hopkins has agreed to extend his tenure with us for this additional period,” Dr. Alfonza Carter, Director of Athletics said in a press release.  “The program has continued to have success on the court under his leadership as shown with his 2017 Southern Division CIAA Championship last year and this year’s 2018 Co-Southern Division CIAA Championship.  Not only is the men’s basketball program winning on the court but also in the classroom and the community at-large where the team participates in outreach programs and ministries.  Thus, it is no wonder we are, indeed, very excited about the future of our men’s basketball program under the leadership of Coach Hopkins.”

A native of Bunn, N.C., Hopkins previously served as Shaw men’s basketball coach from 2000-2002. In 2002, he led the Bears’ program to their first ever CIAA Tournament Championship, before winning Eastern Division titles with an overall record of 23-9. He also led the Bears to a berth in the 2002 NCAA Basketball Regionals. That team would eventually compete in the Division II Elite Eight Tournament and conclude with a loss in the national semi-finals.

Hopkins guided Shaw to the National Division II Final Four in his second year and at the age of 32 while becoming the youngest coach in CIAA history to win the tournament and make it to the NCAA Final Four. He presently has a 3-1 mark in national postseason action. Additionally, Hopkins coached Ronald “Flip” Murray who was the NCAA Division II Player of the Year his senior year at Shaw and was later drafted by the National Basketball Association (NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks) in 2002 as the 42nd pick in the second round.


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