Jason Hopkins previously coached at the Mid-Pacific Institute in Honolulu, HI, Idaho State University, Emerald City Basketball Academy, and Avery Bradley Northwest. Coach Hopkins is now the Men's Assistant Coach at Cochise College in Douglas, AZ.
Read more about Coach Hopkins below!
How did you first get into coaching? What has been the driver that has kept you in coaching?
I got in to coaching because I wanted to have a similar impact that my coaches had on me as I developed into a young man. I've stayed in coaching because of the impact I have been able to have on the lives of the players I've coached, the relationships I've formed and the beauty of the art form of coaching.
Who has been your biggest influence in your coaching career? Why?
Jerry Carrillo. He was my junior college coach, and is my mentor and boss and like a father, he has helped to mold me into a man and lit my passion for the junior college level. The great goal of my life is to travel a path similar to his and have an impact on the lives of young men the way he has impacted so many. I hope to one day lead a junior college program and be half the coach that he is.
What are new ways to impact the coaching industry?
I don't think there are going to be "new ways" of impacting the coaching industry. I think there are going to be refinements to the underlying principles that have always existed and exist in all vocations that involve developing people and youth. The way in which we communicate, they way that we use film, the efficiency in which we use our time, following the best practice methods for strength and conditioning as the science evolves rather than simply doing things the same way they have always been done. Great coaches have always adapted and adjusted as new and better information presents itself, the impact we have will largely be in proportion to how intentional we are about choosing the best options for our players and our programs and not the easiest or most convenient.
What has been your greatest lesson learned in coaching so far?
The work always shows. It might not show exactly when you want or even need it, but it always shows over time - good or bad. If you will consistently put in the deposits you will get a return and if your account is bankrupt you will feel the repercussions. I have a sign above my desk that says "Do The Work" and I try to live by that everyday with players, recruits, coaches, my family. If you do the work, you will reap what you sow.
What has been your most memorable win?
Any time one of our guys signs DI or signs in general it is memorable, but the 2011 Region Championship. We had won the conference my sophomore year and been #3 in the country, but we were upset at home by Western in the Region Title game. We had a challenging year in '10-11 my first being bumped from volunteer to full time assistant, but we peaked at the right time and played for the Region Title at Western. I had wanted badly to redeem my team and help coach Carrillo win a Region Title and walking up the ladder and cutting down Western's nets was extremely satisfying and memorable.
Tell us a recent book/podcast/movie that has left you inspired as a coach.
I finished Culture Code recently. I think that we need to consistently be putting in the work to enhance our ability to be leaders and while I have been a head coach in high school / AAU, I haven't been a head coach at the college level and so spending the time to prepare for that opportunity is important and the organizational tools and insight provided in the book, are valuable as I attempt to craft exactly how I want to run things one day.
Fun Fact: Tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to know about you.
I've published a couple of short stories. Writing can be a great way to convey thoughts, feelings and emotions and is very cathartic.
As a member, what has been the most rewarding aspect/ favorite memory of Rising Coaches for you?
The connections built - especially through the coach to coach connections.