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


GLENDALE, Ariz. — With Kentucky‘s coaching job expected to officially open Tuesday, UConn’s Danny Hurley made clear Monday night that he plans to stay with the Huskies and attempt to win a third straight national title.

After UConn beat Purdue 75-60 to repeat as NCAA tournament champions, Hurley addressed the opening with a few jokes, telling reporters he doesn’t “think that’s a concern” when asked about Kentucky. He added they should ask his wife, Andrea, who is also a native of New Jersey.

“Oh my God, Kentucky or anywhere that’s going to take her further from New Jersey,” he said when asked about her reaction to a potential move. “I mean, we just went to Rhode Island, which I had to drag her to, and then to Connecticut. I got her closer. And now further? I can’t afford a divorce right now, too. I just started making money.”

Hurley went on to give some insight into what’s next for his program: “Now you’re thinking in your brain, as I’m looking at the locker room, about the chance to do it three times, like a dynasty in modern times. I mean, that’s what I’m thinking about.”

UConn officials are in line with that thinking, as they gave Hurley a hefty new contract last year in the wake of his first national title at UConn. Hurley made $5 million this season as part of the six-year deal that was announced in June.

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

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

“We will move as quickly as it makes sense to move,” Benedict told ESPN. “I mean, we’re not even an hour postgame. But yeah, we’ll look forward to having conversations, whether it be with Coach or his agent, and make sure we’re all in a good place.

“No different than what we did last year. We’re going to continue to do everything we possibly can to put him, his staff 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 his focus is on next year at UConn — preparation that will begin during the trip back Tuesday.

“On the flight home tomorrow, we’ll start talking about what the roster is going to look like,” he said. “Obviously, we graduate some players. We’re going to lose a couple potentially to the NBA early entry. We’re going to dive in and put together a roster that can play a comparable level of basketball to the one that you guys have witnessed the last two years. That’s I know what our mindset will be.”

Following the news that John Calipari is finalizing a deal with Arkansas, Hurley became the second Final Four coach to remove his name from consideration for the Kentucky job before it has even officially opened. Alabama coach Nate Oats released a statement earlier Monday declaring he’ll be staying in Tuscaloosa.


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