May 18, 2024

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Dan Hurley plans to stay at UConn, eyes 'modern-day dynasty'

Dan Hurley plans to stay at UConn, eyes 'modern-day dynasty'

GLENDALE, Ariz. — With the Kentucky coaching job expected to officially open Tuesday, UConn's Dan Hurley made it clear Monday night that he plans to stay with the Huskies and try to win a third straight national title.

After UConn beat Purdue 75-60 to repeat as an NCAA Tournament champion, Hurley opened up with some jokes, telling reporters he “don't think that's a concern” when asked about Kentucky. He added that they should ask his wife, Andrea, who is also a New Jersey native.

“Oh my God, Kentucky or wherever is going to take her away from New Jersey,” he said when asked about her reaction to the potential move. “I mean we just went to Rhode Island, where I had to drag her, and then to Connecticut. It brought her closer. And now even further? I can't afford a divorce now either. I'm just starting to make money.”

Hurley went on to offer some thoughts on what's next for his program: “Now you're thinking in your mind, as I'm looking at the locker room, about the opportunity to do it three times, like a modern-day dynasty. I mean that's what I'm thinking about.”

UConn officials are in line with that thinking, giving Hurley a huge new contract last year in the wake of his first national title there. Hurley earned $5 million this season as part of a six-year deal announced in June.

UConn athletic director David Benedict told ESPN that it's impressive that people are mentioning Hurley in terms of job opportunities, a sign that people think “he's the best coach in the country.”

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Benedict said he looked forward to another round of talks with Hurley.

“We will move as quickly as it makes sense to move,” Benedict told ESPN. “I mean we're not even an hour after the game. But yeah, we'll be looking to have conversations, whether that's with the manager or his agent, and making sure we're all in a good place.

“No different than we did last year. We're going to continue to do everything we can to put him and this staff and this program in a position to compete for championships. Obviously part of that is retention, so we want it to retain people.”

Hurley said his focus is on next year at UConn — preparation that will begin during Tuesday's homecoming.

“On the return flight tomorrow, we will start talking about what the menu will look like,” he added. “Obviously we've graduated some players. We're going to lose a couple of potential players to early entry into the NBA. We're going to dig deep and put together a roster that can play a similar level of basketball to the level that you guys have.” “We've seen the last couple of years. This is what I know what our mentality will be like.”

Following the news that John Calipari is finalizing a deal with Arkansas, Hurley becomes the second Final Four coach to deal with the vacancy at Kentucky before it officially opens. Alabama coach Nate Oats Issue a statement He announced earlier Monday that he will be staying in Tuscaloosa.