UConn’s Dan Hurley: ‘No way’ he would entertain Kentucky coaching job

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By journalsofus.com


GLENDALE, Ariz. – Dan Hurley entered rare air Monday night, becoming the third men’s college basketball coach to repeat as national champion since the end of John Wooden’s UCLA dynasty in the 1970s. And when it was over — a 75-60 victory over Purdue, which was Connecticut’s 12th consecutive NCAA Tournament win by double digits — Hurley found himself in another much smaller club: coaches who have won it all and were immediately fired. Had to consider the possibility of going to another program. Life is like that when you’re the hottest coach in the game and the Kentucky job unexpectedly becomes available on the eve of the championship game.

“I don’t think it’s in my mind,” Hurley said. athletic, When asked directly if there was any way he could entertain the Kentucky job, Hurley replied: “No way.”

Hurley said one reason he never moved was so he didn’t want to move his wife further away from New Jersey.

“I can’t risk divorce right now. “I have just started earning money.”

UConn athletic director David Benedict said athletic The program will “do everything we can to remain in position to win a championship” following Monday night’s championship game.

“The market is the market and Kentucky is obviously Kentucky, but last time I checked, we won the last two national championships and we got six of those,” Benedict said. “So I think UConn is doing a great job and Dan is doing an incredible job.

“We obviously hope he stays with us for a long time. UConn has a tradition of having coaches who have reached Hall-of-Fame level success at UConn for a long time – Coach (Jim) Calhoun, Coach (Geno) Auriemma. I’m sure he had plenty of opportunities to leave and we certainly hope Dan will do the same.”

It seems Hurley has his sights set on bringing more championships to Connecticut.

“The last thing I’m thinking about is being somewhere else,” Hurley said. “Right now we’re in a situation of having back-to-backs in an era that makes it harder to do that. Now you’re thinking in your mind, as soon as I see that locker room, I’d love to have a chance to do it three times. A dynasty in modern times. That’s what I’m thinking about.”

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Kentucky, an eight-time national champion and one of the two winningest programs in college basketball history, is suddenly in need of a new coach as Hall of Famer John Calipari made a surprise appearance late Sunday night when he announced his decision to take the same job at Arkansas. Agreed to. He was halfway through a 10-year, $86 million deal, but had not advanced beyond the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament since signing that contract in 2019. The Wildcats have deep pockets, all the makings of a blue blood and they need to make this appointment for a passionate and impatient fan base.

Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart needs to make big changes, and Hurley might be the biggest change. He became the first coach at Florida to go back-to-back since Billy Donovan in 2006 and 2007. Mike Krzyzewski and Duke also repeated in 1991 and 1992. After his first title the previous season, Hurley signed a new six-year, $32.1 million contract. million contract that pays him an average of $5.35 million and more than $5.8 million in Year 6. UConn will have to pay a $7.5 million buyout if another school hires him after this season.

Given Connecticut’s challenging financial situation — and Kentucky’s position in the money-printing SEC — it stands to reason that the school was set to pay Calipari $9 million a year at the end of his final deal. , if money matters to Hurley, he could be a long shot from the Huskies. ,

“I’m not going to talk about that. Money is a factor in many different ways, Benedict said. “It’s resources, it’s support. Nowadays, it’s zero and there are all these different things that affect your ability to succeed. It would be difficult to say that we have not been able to prepare that type of formula for the coach. We’ve proven we can do it before Dan and now that Dan is here. “We are in this for the long term.”

Former UConn star Ray Allen also had a message for Kentucky during the celebration late Monday night:

“I don’t know anyone who’s in a better position right now,” Allen said. athletic, “In six years, they have built an incredible niche here in Connecticut. This is a very good opportunity. And I was recruited by Kentucky, so Kentucky and Connecticut have always been programs that are similar in their own right. But Harley’s our boy.

“And people in Connecticut have embraced him, they love him. The interesting thing is that because of the stores, because of the children who meet here, there is success here. Success is different at Kentucky, and that’s what Kentucky needs to find: someone who can build at Kentucky. But this is UConn, this is Storrs, and Danny Hurley is our guy.

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(Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)



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