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UConn men’s basketball coach Dan Hurley turns down $70 million LA Lakers contract, ESPN says

By Wayne Sterling, CNN

(CNN) — University of Connecticut men’s basketball head coach Dan Hurley said he will remain at the school after reports he was flirting with the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers for the same position.

The Lakers offered the coach of the reigning back-to-back NCAA champion Huskies a six-year, $70 million contract, according to ESPN, to fill the team’s coaching vacancy.

“I am humbled by this entire experience. At the end of the day, I am extremely proud of the championship culture we have built at Connecticut,” Hurley said in a statement emailed to CNN Monday.

“We met as a team before today’s workout and our focus right now is on getting better this summer and connecting as a team as we continue to pursue championships.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the news.

Hurley chose to stay at UConn so he can have an opportunity to chase winning a third straight NCAA championship, sources told Wojnarowski, and become the first men’s program to accomplish the feat since UCLA won a seventh straight title in 1973.

CNN has reached out to the Lakers for comment.

Hurley led UConn to consecutive national titles and has an 141-58 record in six seasons.

Hurley last year inked a six-year contract with UConn that has a value of $32.1 million before performance-based incentives, according to the university’s athletics department website. The coach is required to pay a fee of $1.875 million to leave for an NBA job, according to Sportrac, a website that tracks sports contracts.

“We are thrilled that Dan Hurley has made the decision to stay at UConn and continue building upon our championship tradition,” David Benedict, UConn athletic director, said in a statement. “He has helped return our men’s basketball program back to the pinnacle of the sport, including back-to-back NCAA Championships, and we’re grateful for his loyalty to UConn.

“We look forward to Dan’s continued leadership on and off the court at UConn. He will continue to bring great pride to Husky fans everywhere as we work toward a three-peat,” he said.

Before UConn, Hurley coached at Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, and the University of Rhode Island. Hurley has never coached in the NBA.

UConn and Hurley are scheduled to hold a news conference on Thursday afternoon.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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CNN’s Steve Almasy contributed to this report.

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