Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
**Updated at 2 p.m. with one new name***
During his nine-year run at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, Dan Hurley turned the school into a national powerhouse that repeatedly churned out high-major Division 1 prospects.
Now that Hurley has moved on to Wagner College, the challenge for the next coach will be to maintain that same level of elite play and talent development.
There has been no shortage of candidates to succeed Hurley, with many college assistants and high school coaches contacting both Hurley and Father Edwin Leahy, the school’s headmaster.
Still, a short list has emerged and the next coach will likely come from the following group: Scott Smith, Bashir Mason, Roshown McLeod, Nick Mariniello and Elijah Allen.
Smith was Hurley’s top assistant at St. Benedict’s and also served as guardian for Greg Echenique, the Venezuelan-born big man who transferred to Creighton from Rutgers. He could be the favorite considering he is already inside the school and is familiar with the players and the workings of the school.
Mason is a 2003 St. Ben’s grad who also coached the prep team at St. Ben’s and is currently an assistant under Chuck Martin at Marist. He could also end up following Hurley to Wagner.
McLeod played for Bob Hurley at St. Anthony and most recently was an assistant under Tom Crean at Indiana before the two parted ways late in the season. He recruited Kyrie Irving and helped Indiana get in the mix for the McDonald’s All-American.
Mariniello is one of the top coaches in New Jersey, having spent nine years at Bloomfield Tech, during which his teams were twice ranked nationally. He produced numerous Division 1 players, including West Virginia star Da’Sean Butler. Mariniello just completed his first year at Hudson Catholic.
Allen is a ’93 St. Ben’s grad who played at Fairleigh Dickinson and led University to the semifinals of the New Jersey Tournament of Champions this year.
Father Leahy said the process could take up to two weeks.
“Because of scheduling of one of the board members, it’s probably going to be two weeks,” he said Friday by phone. “I want to pay attentnion to the process for the sake of everyone that’s indicated an interest.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.