Hopkins basketball coaching legend Ken Novak Jr. surpasses 950 career wins
Hopkins boys basketball coach Ken Novak Jr. recently surpassed 950 career wins, which is second-best in Minnesota boys history. The career leader is the late, great Chisholm’s Bob McDonald with 1,012 victories. He retired in 2014 and passed away in 2020.
KSTP Sports attended a recent Hopkins practice and spoke with Novak Jr., along with sophomore guard Jayden Moore and junior guard Anthony Smith.
***Click the video box above to watch the full conversations***
Moore is one of the top Class of 2026 players in the Midwest, already holding offers from the Gophers, Baylor, and other high-major programs. He’s the only player in the storied history of the Royals to start on the varsity team as an eighth grader.
Smith is one of the top juniors in the state and has offers from George Mason and Bryant, and is receiving strong interest from St. Thomas and more.
Novak Jr., 67, has led Hopkins to state championships in 2002, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2016 and 2019. He took over the Hopkins program in 1990 after first coaching at Blaine. He helped mold current NBA players Zeke Nnaji (Nuggets) and Amir Coffey (Clippers) and countless other collegiate and professional players.
Winning has always been a constant for Novak Jr., and so was the presence of Ken Novak Sr., one of his assistant coaches. But Novak Sr. passed away summer 2021 at 92-years-old. Novak Jr. touched on in the interview how his dad would’ve loved celebrating the 950-win milestone.
Hopkins is off to a 10-2 start this season without a senior playing regular minutes. While its lack of size can be a hindrance at times, the speed the Royals play at creates havoc for opponents.