Irish American Dan Hurley led the University of Connecticut Huskies to their second-in-a-row NCAA Men's Basketball Championship title on Monday night, April 9.

It's UConn's sixth NCAA Men's Basketball title, and the first time a team has secured back-to-back NCAA Men's Basketball Championship victories since 2006 and 2007.

Hurley, who was named the Werner Ladder Naismith College Coach of the Year the day before he led the Huskies to victory, can trace his roots back to Co Cork in the 19th century.

According to an April 2023 article from The Athletic, Bob Hurley Sr, Dan's father, said both sides of his family - the O'Briens and the Hurleys - arrived in the US from Co Cork via Ellis Island in the 1890s.

"Penniless," the Irish immigrants settled in what The Athletic said "amounted to an Irish tent city" before moving to and settling in St. Patrick's Parish in The Junction section of Jersey City in New Jersey.

“Working-class people,” Bob Sr told The Athletic last year.

“My recollection of all these people coming up is everyone coming home on the bus with a newspaper wrapped up under their arm. They’d get home, then go to work the next day. World War II veterans. Everyone smoked.”

Bob Sr attended St. Peter's Preparatory School and later St. Peter's College. He volunteered as a coach for a Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) grammar school team in his parish and, in 1967, began coaching at the now-closed St. Anthony High School in Jersey City. He went on to lead his teams to 26 state championships in 39 years as a coach.

Bob Sr was named the USA Today National Coach of the Year in 1989, 1996, and 2008, Best Coach/Manager ESPY Award in 2017, and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.

Bob Sr has three children with his wife Christine - Bobby Jr, born in 1971, Dan, born in 1973, and Melissa. Today, the Hurley Family Foundation runs a free basketball program for students in 3rd - 12th grade in Jersey City.

In 2011, Bob Sr, as well as Dan and Bobby Jr, were all named to the Irish America top 100.

Last year, Bob Sr hosted coaching clinics in partnership with Basketball Ireland in Wicklow and Dublin.

A pleasure to see Coach Bob Hurley Snr at work in our gym this evening. Great to see so many coaches in attendance at the coaching clinic. Big thanks to PJ Reidy and Basketball Ireland

Posted by Baltinglass Bulldogs Basketball Club on Friday, August 18, 2023

Bob's sons Dan and Bobby followed in their father's basketball-loving footsteps. The siblings both played at St. Anthony's in Jersey City, with Dan going on to play at Seton Hall and Bobby going to Duke. 

Dan began his basketball coaching career in 1996 as an assistant at St. Anthony's High School. He went to college level the following year as an assistant coach at Rutgers and in 2001, he began his tenure as coach at St. Benedict's Prep in New Jersey. He served as head coach at Wagner from 2010 - 2012, at the University of Rhode Island from 2012 - 2018, and arrived at UConn in 2018.

On Monday night, Dan was able to get his son Andrew, a senior at UConn, on the court before the end of the game that saw UConn beat Perdue 75 - 60.

Afterward, Dan was asked if he thinks his national title-winning team is one of the greatest teams of all time.

"I think it's is up there in terms of the greatest two-year runs that a program maybe has ever had," he said, adding, "it's the best two-year run in a very, very long time."