What became a stressful week for UConn fans came to a glorious end on Friday afternoon as Dan Hurley was formally introduced as men’s basketball coach.
“With the hiring of Dan Hurley as the head coach of UConn men’s basketball, we reaffirm the university’s commitment and intention to continue to compete as one of the country’s elite basketball programs,” athletic director David Benedict said.
Hurley met with Benedict and President Susan Herbst on Monday and after a few days of deliberation, he sent his signed offer in on Thursday morning.
The former Rhode Island coach had done very well at rebuilding programs at both Wagner as well as with the Rams and looks to make the UConn job his final one.
“This was a dream job,” Hurley said. “I knew deep down inside I wanted just one more job in coaching, a place where Final Fours and national championships are a real distinct possibility.”
Hurley is from New Jersey and played for Seton Hall during the early days of Jim Calhoun’s reign, playing against UConn in the old Big East during the early 1990s.
The Pirates topped the Huskies in their first four meetings while Hurley was on campus, but Calhoun got the best of Hurley during his upperclassman years, including a 29-point win on his senior day.
He remembers the day against one of his coaching role models well.
“I think there might have been 12,000 UConn fans there,” Hurley said. “My memory is that they’re the standard in college basketball.”
He cited the brand as a strong reason he left Rhode Island and though some were worried the conference would keep him from coming to UConn over an ACC team like Pitt, he is not worried about the American Athletic Conference hurting that brand.
“If I was having conversations with a number of the other teams in the conference, [the conference] might have been something that would have been a concern, but the power of the UConn brand, the tradition... transcends the conference.”
Hurley’s salary, including supplemental compensation, is $2.75 million. That number can increase by $150,000 per year based on incentives.
Should UConn receive a penalty from the NCAA investigation that results in a loss of scholarships or a limitation on recruiting, he can extend the deal one extra year above the six years he received.
The contract can also be extended at Hurley’s discretion up to five years based on incentives. He earns one year for an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2019, 2020 or 2021, one year for a Sweet 16 appearance in 2021 and beyond with two years for a Final Four. He also has the ability to cash in on a litany of cash bonuses for NCAA Tournament wins as well as for academic achievements.
Hurley’s bonuses. On the other side is $25,000 for AAC coach of the year, with a max athletic bonus of $700,000. He can also earn a discretionary bonus of $100,000 while everything maxes out at $1 million pic.twitter.com/7YW6BcX3UT— Shawn McGrath (@ShawnMMcGrath) March 23, 2018
All of those benefits can be taken away if the team’s APR score for a year is less than 950.
He will also get standard benefits, including moving expenses and a biweekly automobile allowance of $15,000 and 12 tickets to home games, with eight to all others.
As for buyouts, should he be terminated before April 1, 2019, he would be paid $17.25 million, with a decrease to $14.5 million during the following year. If he is fired from April 1, 2021-March 31, 2022, he will be owed $11.7 million with a sharp decrease in the following year, down to $6.5 million.