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UConn’s Dan Hurley addresses importance of mental health advocacy for men: ‘It’s a crisis’

Dan Hurley has captivated college basketball fans for years, most recently leading the UConn Huskies to consecutive national championships almost with ease. But part of the allure of Hurley lies in his reliability. 

In an interview with OutKick’s “Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich, Hurley spoke out about the importance of prioritizing mental health, especially with men. 

UConn head coach Dan Hurley celebrates with center Donovan Clingan, left, after defeating Illinois following an Elite 8 college basketball game in the men’s NCAA Tournament, Saturday, March 30, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

“Being vulnerable about things, I think it shows true strength,” Hurley, who has been open about his own struggles, said Friday.  

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“You have an opportunity here – for me as a man and as somebody that pushes himself and somebody that’s in his 50s now and understands a lot more than he did when he was younger – just how you need to continually work on yourself and take care of yourself. Whether that’s by what you read or what you listen to in terms of podcasts and books and mindfulness practices.”

After winning his first national title last season, Hurley revealed that he suffered a panic attack just days after cutting down the nets. He recalled the incident in a conversation with reporter Seth Davis in November, telling him that it happened when the coach was invited to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

Dan Hurley cuts down the nets

Connecticut head coach Dan Hurley celebrates during the net cutting after the men’s national championship college basketball game against San Diego State in the NCAA Tournament on Monday, April 3, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

UCONN’S DAN HURLEY OFFERS HONEST ADMISSION ABOUT KENTUCKY COACHING RUMOR: ‘BE EVASIVE’

“Don’t get me wrong, [winning the title] was an incredible feeling in the moment,” Hurley told Davis. “But it hasn’t fulfilled me in a way that maybe I thought it would. I was probably chasing that championship thinking there’d be some level of healing. It’s like realizing there’s no Santa Claus.”

On Friday, Hurley spoke again about his personal experiences and the things that keep the elite coach – elite. 

“My spirituality as a Christian and my faith in God and also my understanding that there are things that you need to talk to a therapist about, a counselor, a psychologist, a psychiatrist – things that maybe you’re not comfortable talking to your friends or your wife or your brother or your parents that are things that maybe eat away at you or things that happened in your childhood or in your adult life that you need a third party that you trust.”

Dan Hurley walks off the floor

UConn head coach Dan Hurley leaves the court at the end of an NCAA college basketball game against Providence, Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Providence, R.I.  (AP Photo/Mark Stockwell)

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He continued, “I don’t think it shows any weakness. I think it shows tremendous strength. Obviously, it’s a crisis with men. Men are afraid to talk about their emotions and their feelings. I think what allows me peace of mind is that I’m authentic and I’m not a phony. I am who I am and if people don’t like it, I don’t care.” 

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