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Dan Hurley is staying at Connecticut after he was courted by the Lakers



After being courted by the Los Angeles Lakers for their coaching vacancy, Dan Hurley will remain at the University of Connecticut, where he has led the Huskies to the past two NCAA men’s basketball national championships.

Hurley’s decision was first reported by ESPN, which said he turned down a six-year, $70 million contract offer from the Lakers.

“I am humbled by this entire experience,” Hurley said in a statement shared on social media by the school Monday afternoon. “At the end of the day, I am extremely proud of the championship culture we have built at Connecticut. We met as a team before today’s workout and our focus right now is getting better this summer and connecting as a team as we continue to pursue championships.”

ESPN reported Sunday that Hurley, 51, met with the Lakers on Friday and left Los Angeles “extremely impressed” with General Manager Rob Pelinka and owner Jeanie Buss. Hurley told ESPN the team made a “compelling case” for him to make the move to the NBA. The Lakers have been in the market for a new coach since they fired Darvin Ham after two seasons May 3.

Ultimately, Hurley decided to remain with Connecticut, where his teams have gone 141-58 (.709) over six seasons, including a 68-11 mark the past two campaigns. The Huskies became the first team to win consecutive men’s basketball national titles since Florida in 2006 and 2007 and will look to become the first program to three-peat since John Wooden’s UCLA squads won seven straight titles from 1967 to 1973.

U-Conn. is losing four starters, including projected NBA draft lottery picks Donovan Clingan and Stephon Castle, but returns forward Alex Karaban, who withdrew his name from this month’s draft. Hurley also signed another strong recruiting class, led by top-10 recruit Liam McNeeley, and added one of the top players available in the transfer portal in St. Mary’s star guard Aidan Mahaney.

Hurley signed a six-year, $32.1 million contract extension with Connecticut in June 2023. His decision to remain at the school comes two decades after the Lakers tried and failed to hire Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski to the NBA ranks in 2004 after parting ways with Phil Jackson, who returned to the team the following year. Before turning down the Lakers, Hurley, the son of Hall of Fame high school coach Bob Hurley and the brother of former Duke star and current Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley, declined interest in the Kentucky job that became available after John Calipari’s departure.

“The last thing I’m thinking about is another place,” Hurley, who coached at Wagner and Rhode Island before U-Conn. hired him in 2018, said after the Huskies defeated Purdue for their second straight title in April. “We’re in a position right now to be back-to-back in an era that makes it tough to do. Now thinking in your brain, as I’m looking at the locker room, the chance to do it three times, like a dynasty in the modern times. That’s what I’m thinking about.”

Meanwhile, the Lakers’ coaching search continues amid uncertainty about 39-year-old forward LeBron James’s future with the team. James, who can become an unrestricted free agent this summer, had praised U-Conn.’s “super creative” offense on an April podcast. The Lakers also interviewed former NBA players JJ Redick and Sam Cassell as well as former Charlotte Hornets coach James Borreg, after losing in the first round of the playoffs.

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