March Madness: How teaching sex ed helped Dan Hurley in future coaching career

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Dan Hurley spent nine years coaching high school basketball at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, but that’s only one part of his journey prior to landing his first head-coaching position at Wagner back in 2012.

Hurley spent time as a teacher. That included teaching sex education shortly after his playing days were over at Seton Hall.

“Being able to at 22 years of age, 22 years old, be able to teach sex ed at St. Anthony, coed classes, you learn how to control a classroom and keep an audience captivated,” the Connecticut coach said on Friday, as the top-seeded Huskies prepared to face No. 4 Alabama in the Final Four at State Farm Stadium.

UConn coach Dan Hurley
UConn coach Dan Hurley Michael Chow / USA TODAY NETWORK

“I think it’s definitely helped me as a coach in the huddle. I think it also helps, too, if you have other jobs besides just being a coach, I think it just helps you with perspective a little bit, too.”

At St. Benedict’s, Hurley also taught history. UConn players have joked that sometimes the old history teacher comes out.

“I love that,” he said with a smile. “I’ve been a high school teacher, I’ve taught world history starting with the collapse of the Roman Empire, mostly focused on European history. From the Dark Ages all the way through to the Reformation.”

There is multitasking and there is Kevin Keatts’ week.

The N.C. State coach was not only preparing the 11th-seeded Wolfpack to face No. 1 Purdue on Saturday, but he landed a major commitment, picking up Louisville transfer forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield on Thursday.

“I go back and forth with it. I like the portal a lot. I wish we didn’t have to deal with it at this time,” Keatts said. “We’ve done pretty good in the portal, so I’m excited about it. I got this young man [DJ Burns Jr.] out of the portal. All five of our starters are from the portal. I got to be a big fan of it.”

Connecticut freshman Stephon Castle said Suns All-Star guard Devin Booker met with the team in advance of the Final Four on Thursday.

“That was pretty cool to see him,” Castle said. “He’s a great player in the league right now.”


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