UConn’s Dan Hurley turns down Lakers coaching job

UConn’s Dan Hurley turns down Lakers coaching job

After making a strong push for UConn’s Dan Hurley, the Lakers will continue their coaching search with other candidates after it took a significant turn over the last few days.

Hurley on Monday decided to pass on the Lakers’ offer to make him the franchise’s next head coach according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Hurley told Wojnarowski on Sunday that he left his Friday meeting with Lakers VP and GM Rob Pelinka and owner Jeanie Buss “extremely impressed” after they made a “compelling case” and presented a “compelling vision” for him to become the organization’s next coach.

But the 51-year-old New Jersey native will return to UConn, where he has a chance to make college basketball history after winning back-to-back NCAA men’s national titles with the Huskies.

ESPN reported that the Lakers offered Hurley a six-year, $70 million contract that would have made him one of the NBA’s highest-paid coaches.

The Lakers have interviewed several candidates besides Hurley since firing Darvin Ham on May 3, including former NBA player/current broadcaster JJ Redick and New Orleans assistant James Borrego.

Borrego was reportedly the only candidate to have two in-person meetings with the Lakers brass.

The Lakers had in-person meetings with other coaching candidates, including Denver assistant David Adelman, Boston assistant Sam Cassell and Minnesota assistant Micah Nori, but they made a fullcourt press for Hurley to take over for Ham before he decided to stay with the Huskies.

Hurley signed a six-year, $32.1 million contract extension with the Huskies last summer that runs through the 2028-29 season after UConn won the 2023 NCAA men’s title.

UConn and Hurley had already been in discussions about another contract extension.

The Lakers’ pursuit of Hurley comes 20 years after the Lakers tried to hire one of the biggest names in college basketball: former Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski in 2004. But the legendary college coach decided to stay with the Blue Devils.

History duplicated itself two decades later, with Hurley turning down the Lakers on Monday like Krzyzewski did.

Hurley, the reigning Naismith Coach of the Year, has a 292–163 all-time college coaching record including stops at Rhode Island (2012-18) and Wagner (2010-12) after first becoming a head coach when he was at the helm of Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School (Newark, N.J.) from 2001–2010.

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UConn has gone 141-58 with Hurley since 2018, including winning the Big East’s regular-season and tournament championships and the NCAA Men’s Tournament in 2023 and ’24.

Hurley’s Huskies, Billy Donovan’s Florida Gators (2006-07) and Krzyzewski’s Duke Blue Devils (1991-92) are the lone programs to win back-to-back men’s national championships in the past 50 years.

Hurley will lead a Huskies team that’s looking to become the first program since UCLA to three-peat when Coach John Wooden’s Bruins won seven consecutive national titles from 1967-73.

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