Dan Hurley will be the next head coach of the UConn men’s basketball program.
Hurley picked a six-year deal from UConn over offers from Pittsburgh and Rhode Island, where he has coached for the last six seasons, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman Thursday morning. The 45-year-old had spent much of Tuesday and Wednesday mulling a decision after meeting with UConn officials Monday. Hurley ultimately chose UConn because of its storied history—they are the only program to win four national titles in the last two decades, ESPN reported.
“Coach Hurley is the absolute right fit for this University, its student-athletes, and UConn Nation,” UConn Athletic Director David Benedict said in a release from UConn. “We were impressed with his turnarounds at Wagner and Rhode Island and his prior success at St. Benedict’s. His proven track record of developing student-athletes and preparing them for productive lives both in and outside of basketball perfectly aligns with UConn’s values.”
“I am honored and excited to become the head coach of the UConn men’s basketball program and I would like to thank President Herbst and David Benedict for this tremendous opportunity,” Hurley said in the release. “This program, which is part of one of the top public universities in the country, has a championship history and wonderful support from a passionate fan base. I look forward to continuing this proud tradition.”
A Dime Back first broke the news at 11:16 p.m. Wednesday night, reporting that UConn signed Hurley to a deal worth roughly $3.1 million per year. Pitt offered $3 million per year, which was initially more than what UConn and URI offered, but sources told A Dime Back that donors bumped up UConn’s offer at the last moment.
Waterbury Republican-American reporter Ed Daigneault tweeted later confirming that Hurley was likely coming to UConn, saying the information had “solid footing” though the actual details of the contract were not known at the time.
New reports suggest Hurley’s deal with UConn is a six-year contract which starts out at $2.75 million and had no donor involvement, per Jeff Jacobs of Hearst Connecticut Media.
“We are thrilled to name Dan Hurley as our next coach,” UConn President Susan Herbst said in a statement. “I never doubted for a moment that UConn would be able to attract a coach of Dan’s talent. He understands UConn, student-athletes at this level, and college basketball in the Northeast. I know our entire community will be delighted to welcome Dan, Andrea and their family to UConn.”
Former UConn head coach Jim Calhoun released a statement reflecting his support of Hurley’s hiring.
“I stand by UConn’s decision in the hiring of Coach Hurley,” iconic former UConn coach Jim Calhoun said in a statement. “I have a deep rooted love for the University of Connecticut and have trusted the judgment of[UConn president] Susan Herbst and [athletic director] David Benedict to do the right thing and what is best for UConn throughout this entire process.
One of Calhoun’s former assistants, Tom Moore, will be joining Hurley in Storrs, reports said.
Hurley’s Rams were eliminated from the NCAA tournament by Duke in the third round this weekend, completing a 26-8 season in which they finished atop the Atlantic 10 standings. The Rams picked up wins against fellow tournament teams Buffalo, Seton Hall, Providence and St. Bonaventure.
Hurley spent six years coaching at Rhode Island, finishing with an 112-82 record and two tournament trips. He also spent two years at Wagner after 10 years at St. Benedict’s Prep in New Jersey as an extremely successful high school coach, developing talents including J.R. Smith of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Hurley will be the successor to Kevin Ollie at UConn, and the 19th coach in the program’s history. The university is currently working through severing ties with Ollie for “just cause.”
This story is being updated as more news comes in.