Dan Hurley, Nate Oats say they won't be lured by Kentucky

League: NCAA Basketball

Posted on: 09 Apr, 2024 at 07:01 PM

Credit: Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Final Four coaches Dan Hurley and Nate Oats said they have no interest in replacing John Calipari at Kentucky, despite chatter linking each to the open job.

Calipari officially announced his departure in a video posted to social media on Tuesday -- and athletic director Mitch Barnhart also confirmed it -- leaving a vacancy at one of college basketball's most prestigious programs. Calipari did not state his destination, but Arkansas is expected to announce his hiring shortly.

Still, after winning his second straight national championship with UConn on Monday night, Hurley said his only professional goal at the moment is to build a dynasty with the Huskies. And in a social media post, Oats said he wants to lead Alabama to its first title.

Hurley joked that his wife, Andrea, who like him is a New Jersey native, wouldn't move that far from her home state. But in a serious moment, he said his focus is reloading for a shot at a third straight title after defeating Purdue 75-60.

"On the flight home (Tuesday) we'll start talking about what the roster is going to look like," Hurley, 51, said. "Obviously, we graduate some players. We're going to lose a couple potentially to the NBA early entry. We're going to dive in and put together a roster that can play a comparable level of basketball to the one that you guys have witnessed the last two years. That's I know what our mindset will be."

Oats' Crimson Tide lost 86-72 to UConn in the national semifinal on Saturday.

The 49-year-old Oats just finished his fifth season with Alabama, where he has posted a 117-54 record and taken the team to four NCAA Tournaments.

"I am fully committed to this team and to this University," Oats said in a statement addressed to "Bama Nation."

"We have already accomplished some great things here, and there is nothing I want more than for The University of Alabama to win its first national championship in men's basketball. Despite any rumors to the contrary, rest assured that I will continue that pursuit as your head coach."

Last month, Alabama signed Oats to a contract extension through March 14, 2030. While the school didn't release financial terms, ESPN reported he would become one of the five highest-paid coaches in the country, according to ESPN.

As for Hurley, USA Today reported Tuesday that UConn will pay him at least $1.8 million in bonuses for this championship season.

--Field Level Media