Report: Dan Hurley decision expected to come in less than 24 hours

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Joseph Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

University of Connecticut men’s basketball head coach Dan Hurley reportedly is expected to decide whether or not he’ll take the head-coaching job with the Los Angeles Lakers in the near future.

Hurley met with the Lakers this weekend after it was reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that he’s been at the forefront of Los Angeles’ head-coaching search.

The Lakers fired head coach Darvin Ham following their first-round exit at the hands of the Denver Nuggets in the playoffs this season.

Hurley, who has won back-to-back national titles at UConn, is highly regarded as one of the best coaches in all of college basketball.

He’s led UConn to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, and he’s earned six total berths to the tournament in his collegiate coaching career (two came at the University of Rhode Island before he took the UConn job prior to the 2018-19 season).

If Hurley declines the Lakers’ offer and decides to remain at UConn, it was reported recently that former NBA sharpshooter J.J. Redick is still a “viable candidate” for the Lakers’ opening.

Even though Hurley has not held a head-coaching position at the NBA level, he has been lauded as a tactical genius when it comes to his coaching style.

Still, it’s possible he decides to remain at UConn to continue building a program that he has restored to national prominence during his time there.

The Lakers are hoping to land a head coach that can help them get back to the NBA Finals after failing to get there in each season since their title run in the 2019-20 campaign under Frank Vogel.

Los Angeles did make the Western Conference Finals in Ham’s first season as the head coach (the 2022-23 season), but it did not take a step forward this season. Los Angeles ended up needing to go through the play-in tournament for a second straight year to make the playoffs in the Western Conference, then the team lost in the first round.

It’s possible Hurley could bring a fresh perspective to the Lakers to help get the most out of the final stretch of LeBron James’ NBA career. James, who has a player option for the 2024-25 season, could opt out of his deal and become a free agent this summer, but the Lakers have been operating as if he will return one way or another.

The Lakers have also formally met with a handful of other candidates for their coaching vacancy.

If Hurley declines the position, it’s possible Los Angeles will pivot to one of those candidates.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.