UConn’s return to Big East becomes family affair as Dan Hurley’s son, Drew, joins Huskies program

The profound influence on the game of basketball exerted by the Hurley family now may extend to a third generation.

Head coach Dan Hurley’s son, Drew, will join the Connecticut basketball program as a freshman guard for the 2020-21 season.

Drew was a top reserve at East Catholic outside Hartford in the 2019-20 season. East was 19-1 and the No. 3 seed in the Connecticut Division I state tournament, but the tournament was canceled after the opening round because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am excited to add my son, Andrew, to our basketball program,” Dan Hurley said in a release from UConn. “His experience at East Catholic, playing for one of the state’s best programs and one of the best coaches, will add to the mindset that we are developing at UConn.

“Andrew is an athletic guard who can shoot and is a hard worker. He has grown up in and around all the players and programs that I have ever led and his understanding of our standards will add to an emerging culture of family and excellence.” 

Basketball and family almost are inseparable among the Hurleys.

They became nationally prominent when Bobby Hurley became a McDonald’s All-American and one of the nation’s top recruits while playing for his father, Bob, on one of the great high school teams in U.S. history. Bobby Hurley joined future Seton Hall stars Jerry Walker and Terry Dehere to lead St. Anthony of Jersey City to a 32-0 record that included three victories in national tournaments and victory in the New Jersey Tournament of Champions. Future NBA player Rod Rhodes and UCLA assistant coach Darren Savino also were contributors to that team.

The success of that St. Anthony squad brought attention to the amazing work being done at the school by Bob Hurley. He’d already won 12 state championships by then, and there would be another 14 before St. Anthony closed in 2017. One of the best sports books of the past two decades, “The Miracle of St. Anthony,” written by ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, documented Hurley’s undefeated 2003-04 team. Hurley won more than 1,000 games and was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010, one of the few high school coaches to earn that distinction.

Bobby Hurley was a first-team All-American at Duke, was the point guard for two NCAA champions and three Final Four teams and a lottery pick by the Sacramento Kings in the 1993 NBA Draft. But his career was cut short largely because of an automobile accident. He seemed reluctant for a time to enter the family business, working for an extended period in horse racing, but eventually he became an assistant coach for his brother at Wagner in 2010, followed him to Rhode Island and then became head coach at Buffalo.

As a head coach, Bob Hurley won two regular-season Mid-American Conference championships at Buffalo and won 20 games three times at Arizona State. He has led three teams to the NCAA Tournament and likely would have had a fourth had the 2020 NCAAs not been canceled.

Dan Hurley was not as gifted as his brother on the court, but the team he led as a senior at St. Anthony went 31-1 and was ranked No. 2 in the nation. And he became a 1,000-point scorer at Seton Hall, averaging 14.3 points as a senior. He eagerly began his coaching career as an assistant for his father at St. Anthony after college, accepted a position as an assistant coach at Rutgers for four seasons in the late 1990s and then built a prep powerhouse at St. Benedict’s in New Jersey.

His success in a decade there led him to the Wagner job in 2010, then to Rhode Island and now UConn. Dan Hurley has coached four 20-win teams, reached two NCAA Tournaments and will lead the Huskies back to the Big East Conference this winter for their first season in the league since 2012-13.

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