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How 49ers' Shanahan inspired UConn's championship-winning offense

How 49ers' Shanahan inspired UConn's championship-winning offense originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Kyle Shanahan’s coaching inspires others far beyond the gridiron.

Behind an electrifying offense orchestrated by Shanahan, the 49ers have managed to capture the attention and admiration of onlookers far beyond the NFL circles, with UConn basketball’s head coach Dan Hurley serving as a testament to that.

Hurley joined former NBA star JJ Reddick on the latest episode of his "The Old Man & The Three" podcast and shared how Shanahan’s coaching philosophy, particularly on the offensive side of the ball, has inspired his team’s back-to-back National Championships.

“I think the inspiration the last two years, especially this year, is like watching college football now or Shanahan from the NFL, how they'll have like these formations, obviously the pace and the tempo, of their cuts and their actions,” Hurley said.

Characterized by creativity and dynamism, the 49ers’ offense is designed with a strong running game and play-action calls in mind, exploiting not only the weaknesses but the inadaptability of opposing defenses.

Hurley’s team might be limited to five players on the hardwood, but the 51-year-old coach, who recently guided the Huskies to an NCAA title, finds a way to incorporate Shanahan’s play-calling style into his basketball scheme.

“But like how they'll have trips out of shotgun, with two in the back field, and out of that formation there's like seven or eight different things they do out of,” Hurley added. “There's a sweep, a play action, you know, a deep post right, all these different things.

“So I think going into this year, me and Luke Murray, we got together and we're like ‘you know we want to have like, you know, 10 different formations.' “

UConn’s offense was dominant all season, helping the program become the first back-to-back national champion since the 2006-07 Florida team.

And if Hurley and Co. manage to become the second team ever to win three consecutive national titles, some of the credit can be given to Shanahan in advance.

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