Dan Hurley announce unexpected Retirement just now…

he anticipation of Selection Sunday was matched perhaps only by the setting.

The Hatters hadn’t advanced to this stage of a men’s basketball season since becoming a Division I program in 1971. That was three years before the Edmunds Center, the team’s home court, was built. Also, that was back when legendary coach Glenn Wilkes Sr. was patrolling the sidelines. He would win 552 games guiding the Hatters. Yet, he never got this far.

Getting to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is that difficult.

On this day, the Hatters, everyone knew, were going to the tournament — the Big Dance, as it’s famously labeled — for the first time. They qualified by virtue of winning the ASUN Championship. But who would they play? There was great suspense.

The setting, meanwhile, also was like never before in the Warren and r Stetson Room. Lights and cameras beamed from local media outlets and from CBS Sports, the tournament’s TV hub. The day before, on Saturday afternoon, CBS Sports held a live interview with head coach Donnie Jones and star guard Jalen Blackmon. For Selection Sunday, the crew had returned to capture the excitement of the Hatters viewing party.

Along with the players and coaches, Pep Band members and the Stetson Cheer team were present, as well as a who’s-who of university officials, community leaders, alumni, students, faculty, staff and local fans. Theater-style setting was arranged from 50 people, with standing room and tables toward the rear.

Of course, President/Head Cheerleader Christopher F. Roellke, PhD, uttered his trademark “GO HATTERS” more times than one could count. Roellke was energetic as usual, wearing a Stetson hat and holding a basketball. His enthusiasm could hardly be contained. A huge basketball fan, he said this means even more.

“We going from Florida Gem to National Treasure,” Roellke said. “There is no better way to accelerate that than being part of March Madness!” Half-man, half-emoji: The many faces of UConn men's basketball coach Dan  Hurley – Hartford Courant

The same for Steven Alexander, chair of Stetson’s Board of Trustees. “This is one of the most significant events in the history of Stetson. We’re on the national stage,” said Alexander, adding that Stetson is the smallest school (by enrollment) among the 68 teams selected to participate. “This is part of Stetson’s DNA — that we punch above our weight. … We are always punching above the size of us.

Athletics Director Jeff Altier, recently retired after 27 years in the position but still actively involved, was nostalgic: “Three years ago, I sat with my children, and they asked me, ‘What is it that you still want accomplish?’ There are only two things that I had left undone. One was winning the men’s basketball championship [ASUN Conference] and, two, getting the renovation of the Edmunds Center started [soon to happen]. It feels fantastic

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