Dan Hurley keeps his spot among college basketball's best (2024)

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Dan Hurley’s decision on Monday to turn down the Los Angeles Lakers and return to Connecticut in search of a three-peat spared college basketball another high-speed turn of the coaching carousel in June. It also meant one of the best coaches in the game would be back in 2024-25. College basketball writer Scott Richey ranks his Top 10:

1. Dan Hurley, Connecticut

It’s not just the fact Hurley guided UConn to back-to-back national championships. It’s how the Huskies did it. As in running roughshod against 12 consecutive opponents by an average of nearly 22 points. Pure and utter domination by two different enough teams means it’s not crazy to think a third not-quite-the-same group could do it again next March/April.

2. Kelvin Sampson, Houston

The Cougars have won 181 games and made three Sweet 16s, an Elite Eight and a Final Four in the past six seasons with the only gap coming in 2020 when there was no NCAA tournament amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Even jumping from the American to the Big 12 for the 2023-24 season didn’t derail Houston’s success under Sampson with a conference title in year one.

3. Bill Self, Kansas

Few teams have dominated a single conference quite like Self’s Jayhawks. Last year’s tie for fifth in the new-look Big 12 (which becomes the new, new-look Big 12 in 2024-25) was his worst. The other 20 seasons the former Illini coach has spent in Lawrence, Kan., include 17 Big 12 titles, no other finish worse than third and two national titles, of course.

4. Matt Painter, Purdue

Painter has “What have you done for me lately?” and long-term success with the Boilermakers with back-to-back Big Ten titles and nine top-four league finishes in the past 10 seasons. Reaching the national-title game in April (before a loss to UConn) helped, too, considering the growing string of losses to double-digit seeds in the NCAA tournament.

5. Scott Drew, Baylor

It’s probably not discussed enough just how much Drew changed Baylor’s fortunes. The program he inherited had just seen one player murder another and its coach try to posthumously frame the slain player as a drug dealer. The Drew-era Bears took some time to recover from all that, but have won at least 20 games in 15 of the last 17 seasons along with the 2021 national title.

6. Mark Few, Gonzaga

That a small, Jesuit university in a mid-major conference could turn into a national power is one of the best things about college basketball. Dan Monson got Gonzaga going with an Elite Eight in 1999, but Few has pushed the program even further with 24 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. That includes eight Sweet 16s, three Elite Eights and two runner-up finishes.

7. Nate Oats, Alabama

Just more than a decade ago, Oats was coaching high school basketball in Michigan at Romulus High School in Detroit. Now, he has Alabama basketball — fresh off the first Final Four in program history — on track to be ranked higher in the preseason AP Top 25 poll than Alabama football. Tuscaloosa, Ala., has clearly entered the upside down.

8. Brad Underwood, Illinois

Other coaches get credit at being transfer portal maestros. Southern California’s Eric Musselman is usually at the top of the list based on sheer volume alone. Underwood, though, has adapted as well as any coach in the country to the new realities of roster building. Last year was his opus — to date, at least — turning a mostly new-look rotation into a 29-9 Elite Eight team.

9. Tommy Lloyd, Arizona

The only coach to win more games in his first three seasons than Lloyd’s 88 with the Wildcats? That would be Brad Stevens’ 89 at Butler. His career has turned out OK. Lloyd spent two decades working for Few at Gonzaga before taking the Arizona job ahead of the 2021-22 season and is 88-20 with a pair of Sweet 16 appearances since in Tucson, Ariz.

10. Greg McDermott, Creighton

McDermott makes the cut ahead of a pair of Hall of Fame coaches (Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Arkansas’ John Calipari) that have fallen off in recent years. Still fairly successful. Just not as much as before. McDermott, meanwhile, has helped the Bluejays reach two Sweet 16s and an Elite Eight in the last three seasons with at least 20 wins in 13 of his 14 years at the helm.

{p class=”card-about”}Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

Dan Hurley keeps his spot among college basketball's best (2024)


Where did Dan Hurley go to college? ›

He played five years of college basketball, including a redshirt year, at Seton Hall. He played under head coach P. J. Carlesimo during his first three seasons. During his years at Seton Hall, Hurley met psychologist Sister Catherine Waters, who changed his life.

Where did coach Bobby Hurley go to college? ›

Is Dan Hurley leaving UConn? ›

He's staying at Connecticut, he said Monday, turning down the Lakers and ending several days of speculation about his future. The lure of trying to win a third consecutive NCAA championship with the Huskies, evidently, was just too strong. “Our MVP Coach is staying in CT,” Gov. Ned Lamont posted on social media.

How much does Dan Hurley make? ›

Dan Hurley Lakers salary

His current contract pays him $5.25 million per year, making him one of college basketball's highest-paid coaches. However, current top-paying NBA head coaching contracts range from $9.5 million a year (Steve Kerr, Warriors) to $16 million a year (Gregg Popovich, Spurs).

What is Dan Hurley making at UConn? ›

Hurley is currently only one year into a six-year, $31.5 million contract that made him the highest paid state employee in Connecticut history.

Did Kentucky offer Hurley 11 million? ›

The University of Kentucky also reportedly pursued Dan Hurley this offseason to become their head coach. Kentucky's offer was $11 million per year to become the highest paid coach in college basketball. The Lakers decided to offer Hurley $11.6 million to see if he would jump at the opportunity.

Which Hurley went to Duke? ›

Bobby Hurley, a native of Jersey City, N.J., guided Duke to a pair of national championships during his four-year (1990-93) career with the men's basketball program.

Did Bobby Hurley ever make it to the NBA? ›

NBA. Hurley was selected by the Sacramento Kings as the seventh pick in the 1993 NBA draft. He signed a shoe contract with a new shoe company ITZ (In The Zone), which was sold at Foot Locker exclusively.

Is Dan Hurley Bobby's brother? ›

UConn coach Dan Hurley joins brother Bobby, former Duke star, as repeat national champion - CBSSports.com.

Why did Dan Hurley turn down the Lakers? ›

Earlier this month, the Lakers offered Hurley a six-year, $70 million contract which he turned down in favor of staying on to lead the Huskies. Hurley's contract would not only have been lengthier but also earned him an annual salary of about $11.7 million compared to $8 million a year for Redick.

Who will replace Hurley at UConn? ›

Luke Murray or Kimani Young (UConn assistants)

The obvious choice – and almost certainly the best option – is for UConn to convince one (or both) of Luke Murray and Kimani Young to stay in Storrs.

How much did the Lakers offer Dan Hurley? ›

Redick's likely hiring comes after UConn men's basketball coach Dan Hurley turned down a six-year, $70 million offer for the position last week.

How much does UConn pay Hurley? ›

The $5.25 million per year he makes at UCONN puts him right outside the Top-5 paid coaches at the collegiate ranks, behind Bill Self, Tom Izzo and a handful of other big name coaches. If he had signed with the Lakers, he would have been a Top-5 paid coach in the NBA without ever coaching a minute in the league.

What is Dan Hurley's buyout? ›

According to the contract that became effective April 2023, Hurley is scheduled to receive $500,000 in retention bonus payments on Nov. 15 each year until 2028. Had Hurley gone to the Lakers, he (or the Lakers) would have owed UConn $1.875 million in buyout money.

What is Dan Hurley known for? ›

Dan Hurley, a highly successful basketball coach, led the UConn men's basketball program to its fifth NCAA National Championship in 2023 during his fifth season as head coach.

Where was Hurley before UConn? ›

While still a youthful coach in college basketball terms, Hurley has already taken charge of four struggling hoop programs – St. Benedict's Prep, Wagner College, the University of Rhode Island, and UConn -- and built them into competitors on the national stage.

Is Dan Hurley of UConn related to Bobby Hurley? ›

Jersey City native Bobby Hurley — coach at Arizona State, brother of UConn coach Dan Hurley and two-time NCAA champion as a player at Duke — takes a timeout for some Final Four Q&A with Post columnist Steve Serby.

How much did Kentucky offer Dan Hurley? ›

Reportedly, the University of Kentucky pursued Dan Hurley this offseason to make him their head coach, offering $12.5 million annually to become the highest-paid coach in college basketball. Meanwhile, the Lakers' top 'all in' offer to Hurley was $11.6 million.

Did Bobby Hurley play in the NBA? ›

The seventh overall selection in the 1993 NBA Draft, Hurley had a five-year professional career with Sacramento and Vancouver.

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