UConn’s Dan Hurley, a Jersey City native, receives key to the city for winning national title


UConn men’s basketball head coach Dan Hurley, who was born and raised in Jersey City, received a key to the city this evening for leading the Huskies to a national title.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“As I said earlier: we don’t do this often. In the 10 years I’ve been mayor, we’ve only done this four or five times, it’s not something regularly … We do it for people who really truly represent what Jersey City represents,” Mayor Steven Fulop said at the 15-minute or so ceremony at City Hall.

“We said to him that ‘this happens to be the second time this week that I’m doing it though which is kind of a strange coincidence.”

He continued that Kelly Conover, the widow of of Mark Conover, who won the Olympic Men’s Marathon Trials in Jersey City in 1988, received the key to the city.

Last year, the St. Peter’s Peacocks received a parade and key to the city after making an improbable run to the Elite 8 round of the March Madness tournament.

The year prior, outgoing Police Chief Michael Kelly received a key as recognition of his service.

In the case of Dan Hurley, the son of legendary St. Anthony High School men’s basketball head coach Bob Hurley, the fourth seeded Huskies defeated Iona, St. Mary’s, Arkansas, Gonzaga, Miami, and finally San Diego State to capture the school’s fifth title in the past 25 years.

After watching a highlight video of Dan Hurley’s playing days and their title run, he joked that he missed his jet black hair and that Jersey City’s video editing guy was better than the one at UConn.

“I just want to thank Mayor Fulop … for inviting me for such an incredible honor, you know Jersey City means so much to me. Obviously you get in front of a mic so much during the NCAA tournament, that really by the end of it, you’re just kind of speaking, it’s almost like therapy,” he stated.

“You’re just saying what’s on your mind and how you feel, and for me, it was just really organic, authentic, how I was feeling at the time, about like what Jersey City has meant growing up here. What it’s done for me in terms of growth and who I am today and how it’s impacted every part of my life.”

He also thanked his wife Andrea and his sons Andrew and Danny, who he referred to as “the home team,” for their continued support, as well as his mom and dad and other extended family members who joined him for the occasion.

“For me, just growing up in the city, I said it on TV, it’s one of the most diverse cities in the country, so I think as a coach, as a leader, your ability to build relationship and to lead all different types of people from all different types of backgrounds, being from here … you develop a skillset that way. The toughness piece: you grow up in Jersey City here, you’re gonna have a toughness about you.”

He noted that the Huskies bounced back after a January of play they’d prefer to forget, but that’s where the toughness, resiliency, and sense of community courtesy of Jersey City came in handy.


News correspondent Daniel Ulloa contributed to this report. 

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