Dan Hurley has completed the staff he will work with in his first season as the UConn menâ€™s basketball teamâ€™s head coach. Kenya Hunter was hired Monday as an assistant coach with the Huskies, joining a staff that already includes Tom Moore and Kimani Young.
Hunter comes to the Huskies after spending the last five seasons as an assistant at Nebraska. He was previously an assistant at Georgetown, Xavier and Duquesne.
â€śKenya has tremendous experience in some high-level programs,â€ť Hurley, who was hired March 22 after a successful stint at Rhode Island, said in a statement. â€śHeâ€™s very well-respected not only as a strong recruiter, but an extremely knowledgeable coach on the floor. Itâ€™s great when you can hire a man who you view as a future head coach and Kenya has that kind of ability. Iâ€™m very happy to add him to what I believe is an outstanding staff.â€ť
Hunter is a native of Arlington, Virginia, who was on John Thompson IIIâ€™s staff at Georgetown from 2007-13.
â€śI looked at the opportunity that UConn presents for me, working with a staff that Iâ€™m very excited about, plus I felt that I needed a change,â€ť Hunter said. â€śObviously, UConn has a great tradition of winning - four national championships and one just four years ago. Itâ€™s recent, not outdated. You look in that practice facility and at that NBA wall, itâ€™s a place where a lot of NBA guys have come through and paved the way. I embrace the challenge of helping Coach Hurley get UConn basketball back to where the people there want it and where it has been.â€ť
With the Hoyas, Hunter worked with the likes of Roy Hibbert, Greg Monroe and Otto Porter.
â€śUConn was always a difficult team to play,â€ť Hunter said of his days with the Hoyas. â€śThe players they attracted were impressive - tremendous guards and bigs who could do a lot of things. They would try to impose their will. You werenâ€™t going to out X-and-O them.â€ť
Hunter was a point guard at Duquesne, finishing with 971 points, 439 assists and 218 steals in four years with the Dukes.
â€śIâ€™ve been fortunate to work for a lot of really good coaches and I think I can take bits and pieces of what Iâ€™ve learned from all of them and help our staff at UConn,â€ť Hunter said. â€śI think I am a relationship-builder with the players and that helps get the best from them. Itâ€™s gratifying to help them grow as people and develop as players from the time they come until the time they leave.â€ť
In addition to his final on-court coach, Hurley and the Huskies also filled two other positions on the staff Monday. Eric Youncofski was hired as the teamâ€™s director of basketball operations and Tripp Doherty was named director of scouting/video. Both men were on Hurleyâ€™s staff at URI.
Youncofski will help with the Huskiesâ€™ travel arrangements, the organization of team practices and the scouting reports of opponents.
Doherty will oversee film exchanges with opponents and other aspects of film production.