Lakers reportedly targeting UConn’s Dan Hurley for coaching job

The Lakers are reportedly targeting UConn men’s basketball coach Dan Hurley for their head-coaching vacancy.

Hurley, who has won back-to-back men’s NCAA national championships at the helm of the Huskies, has had preliminary contact with the Lakers and both parties are “planning to escalate discussions in the coming days”, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported early Thursday morning.

The report added that the Lakers are “preparing a massive, long-term contract offer” to Hurley, who has reportedly been at the forefront of the franchise’s search from the start of the process.

The external expectations were that former NBA player and current broadcaster JJ Redick would be the Lakers’ next head coach, with The Athletic’s Shams Charania reporting on Tuesday that the Lakers were “zeroing in” on Redick as the frontrunner to be the team’s next coach.

But the Lakers appear to be motivated and focused on bringing in one of the most successful men’s college basketball coaches of the modern era.

With Hurley, 51, the son of legendary high school basketball coach and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Dan Hurley, the Lakers are hoping they can secure someone known for his coaching acumen while also having a track record of being a program builder with a high-level player development system.

Hurley, 51, hasn’t coached at the NBA level.

He turned down reported interest from Kentucky after the departure of John Calipari earlier in the spring. But after winning his second national championship with UConn in April, Hurley expressed interest in coaching at the NBA level one day while also saying he doesn’t have a desire to coach college basketball anywhere else.

“Maybe down the road, you hope you can mature enough emotionally to, much later in my career, to try to take a shot at the NBA,” Hurley said after UConn’s championship parade on April 13. “The road, way down the road. I’m not going to coach anywhere else in college.”

Hurley, who played at Seton Hall from 1991-96, started his coaching career in 1996-97 as an assistant on his dad’s St. Anthony High School (Jersey City, N.J.) staff before moving to the college level as an assistant coach with Rutgers from 1997-2001.

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DIMES: What the Warriors can learn from the playoffs NBA | Warriors assistant Atkinson to interview for Cavaliers job: Report He first became a head coach when he was at the helm of Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School (Newark, N.J.) from 2001–2010, where Hurley built the program into a national prep school powerhouse, having a 223-21 record in nine seasons.

Hurley was the head coach at Wagner College for two years (2010–2012), where he set the school single-season win-loss record at 25–6 during the 2011–2012 season before becoming the head coach at the University of Rhode Island for six years (2012–2018).

He led the Rams to back-to-back NCAA tournaments in 2017 and ‘18, their first appearances since 1999. Rhode Island went 113–82 under Hurley, including back-to-back 25-win-plus seasons, winning the 2017 Atlantic 10 men’s basketball tournament and being the 2018 A-10 regular-season champions.

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

This story will be updated.

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