Rooted in one of basketball’s best family trees, the younger Hurley is charting a course of his own at UConn.
It’s been 31 years since a Hurley has appeared in the Final Four.
Back in 1992, Duke dynamo Bobby Hurley had his way with Bob Knight’s Indiana Hoosiers and Jalen Rose’s Fab 5 en route to winning his second straight National Championship under Coach K.
For his heroics, the eldest Hurley earned Most Outstanding Player honors at the 1992 Final Four.
While it was Bobby’s World around Durham and on ESPN, another Hurley was finding his way over at Seton Hall.
Dan Hurley, younger brother to Bobby and son of famed St. Anthony head coach Bob Sr., had just finished his freshman season as a Pirate under P.J. Carlesimo.
Familiar with the weight of leadership, Dan spent five seasons in Newark, rising from backup point guard to standout starter. By his senior season, he was the team leader in assists.
As a player, Dan never made it past the Sweet 16. Once he graduated, Shaheen Holloway stole the show as Pirate point guard, leaving Dan’s dimes in the past.
Dan never played a minute in the NBA, nor did he enjoy the national fanfare associated with his lottery-pick older brother or E:60-profiled pops.
Not until now.
Heading into the 2023 Final Four as UConn Huskies head coach, Hurley has gone from supportive sibling to star of the Dance.
In profiling his rise in the ranks and potential earnings in Storrs, Boardroom breaks down the younger Hurley’s success.
The Hurley Family Business
In high school hoops circles, few names garner as much respect as Bob Hurley.
Over 39 years coaching St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, Bob Sr. won 26 state and four national championships.
A living legend in his city, the original Coach Hurley won well over 1,000 games, placing the likes of Rodrick Rhodes, Tyshawn Taylor, and Kyle Anderson into the NBA.
While all those accolades impress, Bobby is the most famous figure to come out of St. Anthony.
Jersey City’s chosen son by the time he could drive a car, and nationally known by the age of 18, Bobby Hurley was among the most heralded point guards the tri-state area and ACC had ever seen.
The eldest Hurley son came into the national spotlight in 1989 when he won co-MVP of the McDonald’s All-American Game with Shaquille O’Neal. He did so by beating out the likes of Kenny Anderson, Jim Jackson, and Allan Houston.
More than just a one-hit wonder, Bobby became a two-time national champion at Duke and the all-time NCAA assists leader. As a rookie for the Sacramento Kings, Bobby was a Day 1 starter, averaging just over seven points and six assists per game.
Tragically, an SUV accident just months after his NBA arrival derailed his pro career. Once he recovered, he played limited minutes and was out of the league five years later.
While Bobby’s playing days faded due to injury, Danny’s slipped away due to his own personal struggles. Though a solid starter at Seton Hall, an American playing career was not in the cards. Rather than travel overseas, Danny suited up next to his father as an assistant at St. Anthony immediately after graduating.
He took to the family trade instantly. After a season supporting his pops in high school, Dan left for an assistant coaching job at Rutgers.
Working under Coach Kevin Bannon, Dan helped the program for four seasons before returning to high school.
Well, not just any high school.
From 2001 to 2010, Dan Hurley served as head coach of St. Benedict’s Preparatory School: a team that tangled for top squad in New Jersey with his famous father’s program.
Capable of leading on his own, Dan became the fastest high school coach in the area to reach 200 wins. You could say that coaching was in his blood.
In his time at St. Benedict’s, Dan went an impressive 223-21 and coached the likes of J.R. Smith, Lance Thomas, and Tyler Ennis.
It all set Dan up for the college coaching career he’s enjoying now — one that’s resulted in profitable family reunions.
In 2010, Dan Hurley was named head coach at Wagner College on Staten Island.
Upon taking the job, he announced an assistant that would join him on the journey: his older brother, Bobby.
At the private liberal arts school, Dan made the sub-.500 bottom feeders into the toast of the Northeast Conference. After two seasons, Dan departed for the head coaching job at the University of Rhode Island.
Though Wagner’s a private school, meaning its salary information is not public, Non-Profit Light lists his successor’s salary at $222,456 a season.
Conversely, Dan’s new gig at Rhode Island upped his profile in conferences and upped his pay to $4 million plus for a six-season deal.
Like Wagner, he brought Bobby along with him, this time as associate head coach. After an underwhelming debut, Bobby took the head coaching job at Buffalo while Dan turned the tide at URI.
By his third season, Dan had the Rams in the second round of the NIT.
That same year, Bobby took the head coaching job at Arizona State, adding even more esteem to the Hurley name.
Early on in Tempe, Bobby was making roughly $1.4 million a season which ranked among the bottom of the Pac-12. Today, Bobby’s salary at ASU is approaching $2.7 million a year.
If it sounds like the Hurley family was winning in both box scores and bank accounts, it’s because they were. The coach’s kids were both creating lucrative careers for themselves in the family field of choice.
While poppa Hurley called it quits in 2017 when St. Anthony shut down, his youngest son was in the midst of back-to-back NCAA Tournament bids at Rhode Island.
The winning ways caught the eyes of suitors in Storrs and at Pittsburgh, with UConn emerging as the best fit for the former Big East guard.
In 2018, Dan took the head coaching job at UConn with a starting salary of $2.75 million. While ESPN reports suggest that Pitt offered an even higher number, the prestige of the Huskies program proves top tier.
Like previous gigs, Dan’s ability to turn the team into winners and exceed expectations quickly paid off.
Like previous Husky head coaches, he has a chance to up the ante on his already sizable salary if he cuts the nets down next Monday.
Coming into the Final Four, Dan Hurley leads a program pegged as the odds-on favorite given the current field.
While Dan certainly hopes a championship is in his immediate future, national titles are all over the team’s recent past.
In the last quarter century, UConn has a whopping four national championships — more than any other team in that span.
Two coaches have played a part in that net cutting: Jim Calhoun and Kevin Ollie.
For their efforts, the university cut major checks.
In 1999, Calhoun took home a title on the strength of passionate play from Rip Hamilton, Khalid El-Amin, and Ricky Moore. Months after winning his first title, Calhoun signed a new contract for five years, valued somewhere between $875,000 to $900,000 a season.
Right on schedule, Calhoun won again in 2004 as that first title contract came to a close. He then re-upped for six more seasons in Storrs for a grand sum of $9.1 million, taking his annual salary to $1.51 million a season.
Years later in 2009, Calhoun proved perfect in timing again. The UConn coach signed a new five-year deal for $13 million total, taking his seasonal salary to $2.6 million as he enrolled a freshman class that would go on to appear in two Final Fours and win the 2011 title.
Amid health issues, Calhoun retired in 2012 with three rings and massive money made during his 26 seasons.
Upon his exit, former Husky point guard and then-assistant Kevin Ollie took the reins as head coach.
Shortly after, Ollie won his first and only national title in 2014, setting the stage for a contract renewal for five years ranging somewhere between $2.8 million and $3 million a season. In 2018, Ollie was let go as head coach, which is when Hurley entered the fold.
So, how much will Hurley make if he wins a title similar to his two predecessors?
Under his current contract, Dan Hurley makes $2.9 million per year. For reference, that’s slightly more than the salary of his big brother Bobby at Arizona State, and as CT Insider points out, second only to Huskies women’s coach Geno Auriemma where public employees in the state are concerned.
This season, Hurley has already secured an automatic two-year extension to his deal and a $200,000 bonus, both earned with UConn’s Elite Eight win over Gonzaga.
If UConn wins it all this season, Hurley will make an extra $750,000. If the Huskies cut down the nets, finish in the top ten in both major polls, and his players excel in the classroom, the maximum possible bonus Hurley can earn is an extra $1 million.
So, Hurley is already looking at a new salary of $3.35 million based on recent success, and up to $3.9 million if he hits every mark. Though inflation pays a part, that would be more annually than Calhoun or Ollie ever made in a season. It would also surpass that of Auriemma’s current contract, worth $3 million a season with annual upticks of $100,000.
For a college town that lives to cut nets, best believe the powers that be are ready to cut checks.
If Dan Hurley finds himself at the forefront of the Final Four much like his older brother 31 years prior, he won’t be handed the hardware in a uniform. However, his son Andrew, a junior walk-on at UConn, will.
For a basketball lifer like Dan, it could all serve as a fitting Final Four return for the Hurley family.
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