The UConn Huskies advanced through the first round of March Madness by producing a 87-63 victory over Iona. This convincing win was a statement for the program, and they will now face Saint Mary’s in the round of 32.
At the heart of this victory was the leadership of coach Dan Hurley. He has been with the Huskies since 2018, leading the program to a 97-55 record. This is the third straight season UConn has made it to the NCAA Tournament, and the program rewarded Hurley by giving him a recent extension.
The 50-year-old is now locked up until the 2027 season and is due to make $2.9 million per year. His initial deal was valued at $2.75 million per season, so this gave him a raise and the school says it is their way of committing. It also holds several protections in the deal to prevent Hurley’s departure as well as incentives if the program hits certain benchmarks.
If the coach were to leave before April 1, 2022, he would owe the school $10 million. If he leaves before April 2023, he would be required to pay out $6 million. This progresses to $4.5 million before April 2024, $3.5 million before April 2025, and $2 million before April 2026. The bottom line is it was designed to make it clear that UConn wants him around for the long haul.
How did Dan Hurley get to UConn?
The success of Dan Hurley dates back to before his time at Connecticut. He spent five seasons at Seton Hall as a player before kicking off his coaching career as an assistant coach at St. Anthony High School and Rutgers University.
He then made a name for himself by taking control at St. Benedict’s Preparatory School, where he coached from 2001-2010. Hurley completely changed the culture and built the program into one of the country’s top basketball schools.
He then made the jump to college, accepting a job at Wagner College. He finished his second season with a record of 25-6 and got the opportunity to take a job at the University of Rhode Island.
Hurley also had a massive impact in building that basketball program as head coach for six years. After the program went 113-82 and made the NCAA Tournament in 2017 and 2018 (with first-round wins in each appearance), he gained the attention of larger schools. Despite a massive contract extension offer from , Hurley accepted the job at Connecticut.
While he will be under contract for UConn for the next few years, Dan Hurley will be a name to watch for potentially climbing up the basketball coaching ranks further.