Dan Hurley plans to stay at UConn, eyes ‘dynasty in modern times’

GLENDALE, Ariz. – With Kentucky’s coaching job officially set to open Tuesday, UConn’s Danny 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 become the NCAA Tournament champion, Hurley approached the opening with a few jokes, telling reporters he didn’t “think it was a problem” when asked. asked about Kentucky. He added that they should ask his wife, Andrea, who is also from New Jersey.

“Oh my God, Kentucky or any place that will take him away from New Jersey,” he said when asked about his reaction to a possible move. “I mean, we just went to Rhode Island, where I had to drag her, and then to Connecticut. I brought her closer. And now further away? I can’t afford to divorce right now either. I just started making money.”

Hurley then gave a preview of what’s next for his program: “Now you’re thinking in your brain, as I look at the locker room, about the possibility of doing it three times, like a dynasty in modern times. I mean, That’s what I’m thinking about.”

UConn officials agree with that thinking, as they gave Hurley a sizable new contract last year following his first national title at UConn. Hurley earned $5 million this season as part of the six-year deal announced in June.

UConn athletic director David Benedict told ESPN it’s flattering that people are mentioning Hurley when it comes to job offers, a sign that people think “he’s the best coach in the country.” .

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

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

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

Hurley said he’s focused on next year at UConn — preparation that will begin on the trip home Tuesday.

“Tomorrow on the flight home we will start talking about what the list will look like,” he said. “Obviously we graduated some players. We’re going to potentially lose a few because of early entry into the NBA. We’re going to dive in and put together a roster that can play a comparable level of basketball to what you have. J I have witnessed these last two years, which is why I know what our state of mind will be.

Following the news that John Calipari is finalizing a deal with Arkansas, Hurley became the second Final Four coach to withdraw his name from the Kentucky job application before it even officially opened. Alabama coach Nate Oats released a statement Monday saying he will remain in Tuscaloosa.

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