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.
Former Rhode Island and Boston College coach Al Skinner and Wagner coach Dan Hurley are among those who could be targeted for the Rhode Island vacancy created by the firing of Jim Baron, the Providence Journal reported.
“He will have interest,” one source close to Skinner said.
Skinner, 59, compiled a record of 138-126 in nine years at the school from 1988-97. Skinner twice took the program to the NCAA Tournament and later brought Boston College to the Big Dance seven more times before he and the school parted ways in 2010.
Hurley has led Wagner to a dramatic turnaround in his two years there, transforming a team that went 5-26 two years ago into a 25-6 program that was upset by Robert Morris, 71-64, in the Northeast Conference semifinals Sunday. His team now awaits word on whether it will make the NIT.
“The kids gave me everything they had,” he told SNY.tv of the loss. “We’re two years removed from 5-26 and we win 25 [games].”
He added: “In these one-bid leagues, you have a bad game and you’re out. That’s the way it is.”
A rising young star in the coaching ranks, Hurley is likely to be targeted by a number of schools going forward, yet he has a strong recruiting class coming into Wagner next year, including former Mr. Michigan Basketball Dwaun Anderson.
The Providence Journal also reported that Rhode Island could consider Rhode Island College coach Bob Walsh and Towson head coach Pat Skerry, a former Rhody assistant.
Baron, a Brooklyn native, was fired Sunday after 11 years and a 7-24 season.
“I would like to thank Jim Baron for his 11 years of committed service to the University of Rhode Island,” Rhode Island AD Thorr Bjorn said in a statement. “During his tenure at URI, Jim represented himself, his family and our men’s basketball program with the utmost class and professionalism.”
The 57-year-old Baron finished his 11-year run with a 184-166 overall record and an 83-93 mark in Atlantic 10 conference games, including 4-12 this season.
The Rams won 20 or more games six times during Baron’s tenure and played in the National Invitation Tournament five times.
“I am comfortable with everything I was able to give to the program and to coach some fine young men,” Baron said in the release announcing his dismissal.
(The AP contributed)
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.