Thursday, March 22, 2018

UConn to name Dan Hurley head coach

Dan Hurley, who turned Rhode Island program into consistent winner with back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, will attempt to do same at UConn after accepting six-year deal to coach Huskies. (Photo by Bob Dea/Daly Dose Of Hoops)

Dan Hurley will soon have a new challenge.

The University of Rhode Island head coach, who reached back-to-back NCAA Tournaments at the helm of the Rams the past two seasons, has agreed to become the next head coach at the University of Connecticut.

Hurley, 45, will replace Kevin Ollie, who was fired with cause on March 10 after UConn finished 14-18 and missed the postseason for a second straight year. Initially reported by UConn-centric site A Dime Back and confirmed by national outlets early Thursday morning, Hurley has accepted a six-year contract with an average annual value of $3.1 million.

Hurley leaves Rhode Island with a record of 113-82 over six seasons, and 151-105 overall, turning the Rams from an 8-21 team in his first campaign into a 26-8 outfit this season and an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament one year after winning the Atlantic 10 Conference championship in 2016-17. Prior to arriving in Kingston, he quickly turned around a long-struggling Wagner program, taking the Seahawks from just six wins before his hire to 25 in just two seasons, displaying the aggressiveness and results that made him an attractive candidate for Rhode Island athletic director Thorr Bjorn.

Rhode Island made a final push in an effort to convince Hurley to stay, including a raise in his salary to $2 million and a larger pool for coaching staff salaries, as well as a commitment to a new practice facility and charter flights to and from all road games, but the chance to resurrect one of college basketball's longtime giants ultimately proved to be impossible to resist.

Hurley's staff at UConn will include Tom Moore, the former Quinnipiac head coach who joined him as an assistant after a ten-year stint in charge of the Bobcats, according to CBS Sports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein and the New York Times' Adam Zagoria. Moore will be returning to Storrs, as he spent 13 years with the Huskies as an assistant under Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun, recruiting the bulk of UConn's 1999 and 2004 national championship rosters before setting out on his own. Rothstein further states that the Rhode Island program Hurley and Moore will leave had designated associate head coach David Cox as head coach-in-waiting in the event that Hurley were to take a coaching vacancy elsewhere. An accomplished and savvy recruiter who has secured a nationally-ranked incoming class this fall, Cox will be a boon to program continuity at Rhode Island.

More information on the Hurley announcement will be posted as it becomes available.

1 comment:

  1. You wish more coaches would be like McKillop down in Davidson and stay when you've built a strong mid-major program. Hurley had a good thing going at URI, so why leave, especially to a school like UConn that I believe is under NCAA investigation. I get the money part but, it wasn't like he was making peanuts at URI and yeah, the American is now a better conference than the A10 but is it a whole lot better? or does Hurley see the A10 as a league that is on its way down and will be more at the level of the CAA so its time to jump ship to a better league where if he wins at UConn he can flip that for an even better program in a Power 5 conference?