Confirming a groundswell of rumblings which were beginning to surface over the weekend, it appears UConn will be signing Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley to be Kevin Ollie’s successor. Ollie is currently suspended with pay while UConn’s administration works through a process to remove him for “just cause.”
Hearst Media’s Jeff Jacobs and David Borges broke the news, saying “There are strong indications that the University of Connecticut is closing in on an agreement with Dan Hurley to make him the next coach of the men’s basketball team.”
Adam Zagoria of ZAGSBLOG reported that Hurley met with UConn officials on Monday.
Hurley is an excellent choice for UConn and was a top pick for most fans as well, a rare alignment in major coaching searches. He completed six seasons at Rhode Island, ending with a 112-82 record, two NCAA Tournament appearances, two trips to the Round of 32 and one A-10 Coach of the Year award. Before URI, he spent two seasons at Wagner and before that he spent 2001-2010 at St. Benedict’s Prep in New Jersey.
Hurley’s Rams were eliminated from this year’s NCAA Tournament by Duke on Saturday, and with every passing hour since, the sourced speculation grew to the point where most were no longer wondering whether Hurley would leave but to where. Pittsburgh is believed to be the other school primarily in the mix for his services.
In terms of ties to UConn, Hurley played in his collegiate career at Seton Hall, a former Big East conference rival where longtime Jim Calhoun assistant George Blaney was coaching. He credits Blaney with helping him rediscover his love for basketball at a time when things were difficult. Another longtime Calhoun assistant, Tom Moore, is currently on his staff at Rhode Island and could potentially return to Storrs.
As a northeast guy who played in the Big East, Hurley is quite familiar with of UConn’s success and according to Zagoria, “is intrigued by the UConn ‘brand.’” In addition to that great brand, he’d have top-notch facilities, a committed administration, and potentially a decent roster to work with as well. He’ll also have a fanbase eager to back a winner.
UPDATE: ESPN is saying that the deal is not as close as previously believed, though UConn is in the lead. Additionally, Jacobs has clarified the original reporting with this update:
Update: While one source says UConn is close to signing Dan Hurley, a second said the school is pushing hard to complete a deal and Pittsburgh is still in the picture. Hurley is definitely UConn's No. 1 target and there is strong mutual interest.— Jeff Jacobs (@jeffjacobs123) March 19, 2018
Per Source: #URI head coach Dan Hurley spoke with Pittsburgh and UConn today on the phone. He plans on meeting with URI Athletic director Thorr Bjorn tomorrow. Source says Hurley wants to stay at URI if pitch is strong. A decision will be made mid week. @nbc10— Joe Kayata (@NBC10_Joe) March 20, 2018
The North Remembers.
CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein gave a timeframe for Hurley’s decision.
Pitt has offered Dan Hurley a multi-year deal in excess of $3 million dollars annually to be its next head basketball coach, per multiple sources. UConn and URI still in play.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 20, 2018
The offers made to Dan Hurley by both UConn and Rhode Island are less monetarily than Pitt, but still very much in play, per multiple sources. Decision likely in next 24 hours.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 20, 2018
A Dime Back and the Waterbury Rep-Am’s Ed Daigneault is reporting UConn has secured Hurley as their next head coach.
#UConn is expected to name Rhode Island's Dan Hurley as its next head coach, sources tell A Dime Back. The contract is rumored to pay $3.1 million annually (a figure we could not confirm), & was reportedly finalized after a late push by several high profile UConn donors.— A Dime Back (@ADimeBack) March 22, 2018
Hearing that UConn has secured Dan Hurley at $3.1 million per year. Length of deal not known. Not confirmed through UConn officials but information has solid footing.— Ed Daigneault (@EdDaigneault) March 22, 2018
It’s official. Dan Hurley is coming to UConn.