Dan Hurley: Everything you need to know about the UConn basketball coach
Head coach Dan Hurley of the Connecticut Huskies added a lot of steer in this season’s NCAA March Madness basketball tournament.
Born and raised 50 years ago in Jersey City, Hurley was an exceptional high school player at St. Anthony, leading the team to a 31-1 record and a No. 2 national ranking as a senior. Playing under head coaches P.J. Carlesimo and George Blaney at Seton Hall, he gathered career totals of 1,070 points and 437 assists. During college, he helped the Pirates to three NCAA Tournament appearances and an NIT berth. After graduating in 1996, Hurley went straight into coaching, joining his father at St. Anthony for one year before heading into the college ranks at Rutgers. Hurley is a creation of one of the most famous basketball families in the country, led by his father, Bob Sr., a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee following a mythical high school coaching career at St. Anthony in Jersey City and including older brother Bobby, a college All-American and two-time National Champion player at Duke, who played for five years in the NBA and is currently the head coach at Arizona State.
He was hired as an assistant coach at Rutgers and stayed there for four years. When Rutgers chose to change coaching staff, Hurley returned to the high school ranks and carried over the basketball program at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J., in 2001.
While at St. Benedict’s Prep, apart from coaching, he taught history and developed his craft, building the program into a national prep school powerhouse. Hurley gathered a first-rate 223-21 record in nine seasons, with four Top Five finishes in the national rankings. He coached four McDonald’s All-Americans and future NBA players, J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson, and Lance Thomas.
Hurley came to UConn following six years at Rhode Island, where he took a program that went 7-23 in the season before he arrived to a combined 51-18 mark and two NCAA Tournament appearances in his final two years, where he guided the Rams to a first-round NCAA tourney victory. In his six seasons in Rhode Island, Hurley’s teams were a combined 113-82 (.579) but an even more impressive 91-43 (.679) with two NCAA appearances and an NIT berth during his last four years.
Since taking over as the head coach of the UConn men’s basketball program in March 2018, Dan Hurley has guided the Huskies on a steady climb back to national prominence. On March 22, 2018, Hurley became the 19th head coach in the history of UConn basketball when he took the dare of reviving a program that went through two consecutive losing seasons. He quickly put a stamp on the program. Three games into his first season as the head coach of the Huskies in 2018-19, the team had three victories, including its first win over a nationally-ranked opponent in three years.
As the designer of two previous college basketball reconstructing projects, however, Hurley knew that returning the four-time NCAA champion Huskies to a national distinction wouldn’t be easy. UConn’s final 16-17 record was not all that surprising.
In the 2021-22 season, the fourth of the Hurley Era at UConn, the Huskies had five road wins, three wins against Top 25 opponents, four neutral-site victories, and were ranked in the national Top 25 poll for 15 weeks. Hurley again took his team to the NCAA Tournament, marking UConn’s first back-to-back appearances in the Big Dance in 10 years. A steady inflow of highly-rated recruiting players has been the magic secret of UConn’s yearly uprise under Hurley and his coaching staff, resulting in this year’s Final Four NCAA basketball tournament.
Dan and his wife Andrea, who met while attending Seton Hall, are the parents of two sons, Danny, a Seton Hall graduate, and Andrew, a junior at UConn.