Reports: Hurley to UConn
Two Connecticut outlets reported Wednesday night that UConn has reached a deal with Dan Hurley to become its next head men’s basketball coach.
According to ADimeBack.com and a tweet from Ed Daigneault of the Waterbury Republican-American, the deal was secured late Wednesday night. A source close to the situation early Thursday morning refused to confirm that the reports were accurate.
Hearst Connecticut Media has since confirmed those reports. UConn confirmed Hurley as its new coach on Thursday morning.
Both reports say that the deal was worth $3.1 million annually, though neither could confirm that figure, and that other details still needed to be ironed out.
Another source told Hearst Connecticut Media on Wednesday that Hurley’s heart has always been with UConn, and that the school needed to close the gap on Pittsburgh’s offer - which was reported to be more than $3 million per year.
Hurley has been head coach at Rhode Island since 2012, leading the Rams to consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. URI lost to Duke in the second round of this year’s tournament on Saturday.
Hurley is from a prominent basketball family, the son of Hall of Fame high school coach Bob Hurley and the brother of Arizona State coach and former Duke standout Bobby Hurley. Dan played basketball for his father at St. Anthony High in Jersey City, teaming with his brother on the 1989 national championship squad.
Hurley began his coaching career assisting his father at St. Anthony before spending four years at Rutgers.
In 2001, he began a nine-year stint as head coach at Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School in New Jersey. He became Wagner’s coach in 2010 - losing 78-66 to Calhoun and the Huskies on Nov. 14, 2011 at Gampel Pavilion - and left the school for URI after going 25-6 that season.
At URI, Hurley was 22-39 over his first two season before posting a 23-win season. The Rams won 25 games last season and Hurley’s star continued to rise as his team secured a tournament berth this year. URI won games in each of the last two NCAA tourneys, beating Oklahoma last week before falling to Duke in the second round.
Hurley was considered a prime candidate for Pittsburgh. As a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Pittsburgh is more financially stable than UConn, part of the lower-revenue American Athletic Conference. But UConn’s foothold in New England and in the Northeast’s fertile recruiting territory was likely appealing to Hurley.
Ollie, a former UConn player, coached the Huskies to a national title in 2014, his second season after replacing Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun. He won 45 games over the next two season, but the program struggled the past two season — 16-17 and 14-18 last season.
With an NCAA investigation looming, the school fired Ollie for “just cause,” and doesn’t believe it owes Ollie any of the approximately $11 million left on his contract. Ollie is fighting the decision and is slated to have a hearing before athletic director David Benedict this week.