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.
Dan Hurleyhas agreed to become the new head coach at Rhode Island and will part ways with Wagner College after just two years at the Staten Island school, as first reported by SNY.tv and CBSSports.com Tuesday morning.
After visiting Rhode Island Saturday, Hurley made the decision Monday night upon talking it over with his wife, Andrea, and their two sons, Danny (12) and Andrew (10).
Hurley, 39, will sign a six-year deal worth approximately $4 million. He will be officially introduced at a press conference Wednesday.
“We are thrilled to name Dan Hurley as our new head men’s basketball coach,” Rhode Island athletic director Thorr Bjorn said. “Dan is a proven winner at every level and I am looking forward to partnering with him to build on the solid foundation we have in place. Our goals are to compete for – and win – Atlantic 10 Championships and advance to play in NCAA Tournaments.”
Wagner tried to keep Hurley with a significant pay raise offer, but the opportunity for more money, more exposure and greater competition was simply too much for the former St. Benedict’s Prep coach and son of Naismith Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley of St. Anthony.
Bobby Hurley, Dan’s older brother and a former two-time NCAA champion at Duke, appears likely to follow his brother to the Atlantic 10 as an assistant, although no official statement has been made on the matter. Bobby is mentioned in Rhode Island’s release introducing Dan, but he is not listed as an assistant coach.
“I’d like to thank Dan Hurley and his staff for the many contributions they made to Wagner basketball in their two years here,” Wagner AD Walt Hameline said. “The turnaround they orchestrated was nothing short of phenomenal. With the success we had and the exposure the program generated, we knew Dan would be an attractive candidate for other programs. I am confident that we will attract an outstanding coach who will build on the success of Wagner Seahawk basketball.”
Hameline said a national search will begin immediately. Several early possibilities include Norfolk State head coach Anthony Evans, Cincinnati assistant Darren Savino, a former St. Anthony player, and New Jersey native Scott Adubato, a Florida International assistant.
“I expect he’ll get some calls,” Norfolk State athletic director Marty Miller told The Sporting News in relation to Evans, 40.
Whoever the new coach is will have to maintain Wagner’s strong recruiting class that includes Michigan State transfer Dwaun Anderson, a former Mr. Basketball in Michigan.
In two years under Hurley, Wagner went 38-23, 24-12 in the Northeast Conference.
Hurley led Wagner to a 25-6 record this season after the program went 5-26 two years ago.
The Seahawks lost in the Northeast Conference semifinals to Robert Morris and were not offered an NIT bid.
Just two years ago, Hurley left St. Benedict’s Prep after compiling a record of 223-21 in nine seasons.
Earlier this month, Rhode Island fired coach Jim Baron following a 7-24 season.
“URI is committed to excellence across the board, including intercollegiate athletics,” said David M. Dooley, URI President. “Hiring Dan Hurley as our new head coach in men’s basketball reflects that commitment. We are delighted that Dan shares our vision to build a high quality program that puts the student-athlete first and competes at the highest level, and we are confident that he will be successful here.”
Photo: NY Post
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.