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Dan Hurley will stay as UConn coach after turning down a lucrative Lakers offer

Head coach Dan Hurley of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates after defeating the Illinois Fighting Illini in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at TD Garden on March 30, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Michael Reaves
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Getty Images
Head coach Dan Hurley of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates after defeating the Illinois Fighting Illini in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at TD Garden on March 30, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts.

The ongoing “Will he or won’t he coach the Los Angeles Lakers?” intrigue that has captivated Connecticut for days has come to an end: He won’t.

Dan Hurley will not leave UConn men’s basketball to coach the NBA team, ESPN reported Monday.

It was a reported six-year contract worth $70 million, but it was apparently an offer he could refuse.

Andrea Sirakides Hurley, Dan Hurley’s wife, leaves the UConn Men’s Basketball practice facility moments after reports were confirmed that Dan Hurley turned down a position to coach the Lakers and would remain at UConn.
Mark Mirko
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Connecticut Public
Andrea Sirakides Hurley, Dan Hurley’s wife, leaves the UConn men’s basketball practice facility on Monday, June 10, moments after reports were confirmed that Dan Hurley turned down a position to coach the Los Angeles Lakers and would remain at UConn.

The UConn coach told an ESPN reporter that the Lakers made a “compelling case” but that he wants to focus on what he’s built with the Huskies. UConn won back-to-back national championships in 2023 and 2024.

A UConn spokesperson said the report is accurate, but that the university would not be commenting at the moment. But soon after the news was announced, UConn posted on social media an image of Hurley at a Huskies game, raising his hands in the air.

Later Monday afternoon, Hurley released a statement, saying he met with the team earlier in the day. He said the team's focus is on "getting better" and "connecting as a team" as they continue to pursue championships.

"I am humbled by this entire experience," Hurley said. "At the end of the day, I am extremely proud of the championship culture we have built at Connecticut."

The news pleased basketball fans, UConn students and leaders, as well as elected officials across the state.

"Our MVP Coach is staying in CT," Gov. Ned Lamont posted on social media just minutes after the news was announced.

On LinkedIn, Lamont wrote: "Coach turned down $70M to stay in Connecticut. Talk about a ringing endorsement of a place and opportunity."

On the Storrs campus Monday, Husky fans were elated. Larry Ross says he has been part of the UConn community since he came to the school in 1965.

"I'm thrilled," Ross said. "I think Hurley has done a wonderful job. He strikes me as a really great guy, great coach. ... Clearly a great coach. And I couldn't be happier that he's staying."

Michael Taylor, also a UConn graduate, said he had a big smile when he learned Hurley was staying. He said he thanks Hurley for what he's done for the UConn community.

“It’s fantastic to see a man who has principles and has found a place where he can make a career and a mark as opposed to 'take the money and run,'” Taylor said.

In recent days, Lamont had weighed in on the situation as it generated all sorts of media attention.

“I just know that Dan Hurley is the greatest coach in America,” Lamont said last week. “So no wonder that professional teams are paying attention.”

Lamont said last week that Hurley and his family “ought to know they are part of the Connecticut family. We love them in Connecticut.”

Last June, Hurley signed a six-year deal with the Huskies worth more than $32 million. Meanwhile, UConn just last week gave women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma a five-year extension worth nearly $19 million.

The Lakers’ reported plan to offer a massive contract to Hurley was the latest twist in the monthlong race to replace Darvin Ham, who was fired May 3 after two seasons.

On Thursday night, ESPN reported Hurley was traveling to Los Angeles for a Friday meeting with Lakers leaders. Citing unidentified sources in the report, ESPN also said Hurley informed UConn of his interest in talking to the Lakers on Wednesday and spoke to his players Thursday.

WSHU's Ebong Udoma and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Mark Mirko is Deputy Director of Visuals at Connecticut Public and his photography has been a fixture of Connecticut’s photojournalism landscape for the past two decades. Mark led the photography department at Prognosis, an English language newspaper in Prague, Czech Republic, and was a staff-photographer at two internationally-awarded newspaper photography departments, The Palm Beach Post and The Hartford Courant. Mark holds a Masters degree in Visual Communication from Ohio University, where he served as a Knight Fellow, and he has taught at Trinity College and Southern Connecticut State University. A California native, Mark now lives in Connecticut’s quiet-corner with his family, three dogs and a not-so-quiet flock of chickens.
Eric Aasen is executive editor at Connecticut Public, the statewide NPR and PBS service. He leads the newsroom, including editors, reporters, producers and newscasters, and oversees all local news, including radio, digital and television platforms. Eric joined Connecticut Public in 2022 from KERA, the NPR/PBS member station in Dallas-Fort Worth, where he served as managing editor and digital news editor. He's directed coverage of several breaking news events and edited and shaped a variety of award-winning broadcast and digital stories. In 2023, Connecticut Public earned a national Edward R. Murrow Award for coverage that explored 10 years since the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting, as well as five regional Murrow Awards, including Overall Excellence. In 2015, Eric was part of a KERA team that won a national Online Journalism Award. In 2017, KERA earned a station-record eight regional Murrow Awards, including Overall Excellence. Eric joined KERA after more than a decade as a reporter at The Dallas Morning News. A Minnesota native, Eric has wanted to be a journalist since he was in the third grade. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from DePauw University in Indiana, where he earned a political science degree. He and his wife, a Connecticut native, have a daughter and a son, as well as a dog and three cats.
Matt Dwyer is an editor, reporter and midday host for Connecticut Public's news department. He produces local news during All Things Considered.

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