Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley was said to be close to signing with UConn, according to a report on Monday, but Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog, citing a source close to the situation, later revealed that the report was inaccurate. He also noted that both Pitt and UConn spoke with Hurley on Monday about their respective coaching vacancies.
“A report that UConn is close to signing Hurley is inaccurate,” Zagoria wrote. “No decision is imminent.”
Jeff Goodman of ESPN also reported on Monday’s developments and said that Hurley has yet to make a decision on his future. Both Zagoria and Goodman added that he will talk to Rhode Island athletic director Thorr Bjorn on Tuesday before moving forward in the process.
Hurley has emerged as Pitt’s top candidate to replace deposed head coach Kevin Stallings. However, he is also UConn’s top option to fill their own coaching vacancy, and Zagoria reported that the UConn brand intrigues the Rhode Island coach. Goodman’s sources went so far as to say Hurley “prefers the UConn job because of the program’s history.”
The 45-year-old coach has been at Rhode Island for six seasons, compiling a 113-82 record over that span while building the Atlantic 10 program into an AP Top 25 team and NCAA tournament contender. Prior to his tenure in the Ocean State, Hurley coached at Wagner, where he went 38-23 over two seasons, including a 25-6 record in the 2011-12 season.
His roots in the Northeast paired with his proven ability to build up struggling programs make him a natural fit at both Pitt and UConn. And while he dismissed news of the job openings as something he “could give two craps about,” he also said that he needed a greater investment from the university to advance further in the tournament.
”The investment’s gonna have to increase, but that’s like any program that’s trying to get better,” Hurley said, according to Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
If it’s investment Hurley is looking for, Pitt has more to offer financially than UConn or Rhode Island, as ACC schools bring in more than $20 million per year in revenue, according to Forbes. As an AAC school, UConn brings in roughly a quarter of that, and the Atlantic 10 doesn’t even rank among the top 10 conferences in terms of revenue per school.
Considering Hurley seems to have hit a ceiling at Rhode Island, it makes sense he would move onto a program with the financial clout to accomplish more. With that said, the coveted coach could just as easily stay put and wait for a better opportunity.
According to Zagoria’s report, Hurley could come to a decision in a “couple of days.”