“We’re all striving for the same thing” - Dan Hurley on robust championship culture fostered at UConn

Syndication: Arizona Republic
Dan Hurley celebrates after defeating the Purdue Boilermakers in the NCAA Final Four, April 2024

With Dan Hurley at the helm, UConn secured consecutive national titles in 2023 and 2024. In recognition of his outstanding coaching, Hurley was honored with the Naismith Coach of the Year award in 2024.

The Huskies appointed Dan as the program's head coach in 2018 and from day one, his primary focus has been on fostering a championship culture within the team.

According to Hurley, a championship culture is characterized by alignment. Everyone involved, including players, coaches, and staff, operates in a unit. Their actions mirror a collective vision, and they all work towards achieving the same ultimate goal.

"Everyone thinks the same things, behaves the same way, and we're all striving for the same things. That's what culture means," Hurley said. "My job is to make sure everyone in this building is not giving me what they have left, it's to give me everything that they got."

Hurley said that as a coach, his job is not to use up what energy his team has left, but to motivate them to give their all.

After winning the championship in the 2022-2023 season, he guided the Huskies to an impressive 37 wins in 2023-24, where they won the Big East, tournament titles and claimed their second consecutive national championship

Dan Hurley aims to achieve a three-peat

Despite the rise of NIL deals and frequent player transfers, Dan Hurley and the Huskies proved that it is still possible to create a winning team that can clinch two successive national championships.

Connecticut was the first team to win back-to-back NCAA titles since Florida did in 2006 and 2007. However, Hurley is contemplating achieving a third consecutive victory, a feat that only UCLA has managed in college basketball history.

"We're bringing in some very talented high school freshmen. Our returning players, through player development, will take a big jump. We'll strategically add it through the portal. I don’t think that we’re going anywhere."

Despite the departure of Adama Sanogo and Jordan Hawkins from the 2023 championship-winning team, Hurley is confident in overhauling the team to go and compete for another title this coming season.

Hurley acted quickly and landed a five-star recruit Liam McNeeley from Montverde Academy to strengthen the squad,

"Liam is one of the best players in high school basketball, and we are tremendously excited to add him to our UConn family," Dan Hurley said.

Moreover, UConn also announced the signing of two four-star recruits, guard Ahmad Nowell from Imhotep Institute and small forward Isaiah Abraham from Paul VI Catholic.

What could Alabama basketball's 2024-25 starting lineup look like? Find out here

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Edited by Chaitanya Prakash
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