Rhody fans have some pretty big expectations for URI’s 19th head basketball coach Dan Hurley. So it’s a good thing he came to us with the kind of record that suggests he can meet them.
For starters, in his own collegiate career, Coach Hurley eclipsed the 1,000-point mark while helping the Seton Hall Pirates advance to two NCAA tournaments during one of the strong periods in Big East history. Later, coaching for St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, NJ, he registered a 223-21 overall record and became the fastest coach in New Jersey basketball history to reach the 200-win mark. And at Wagner College, his first season saw the near-bottom-ranked Seahawks make the nation’s best turnaround and served as a springboard into a record-setting second season that included the school’s best-ever start, school record in wins, and Wagner’s first victory over a ranked opponent in 33 years.
So he’s got some big ideas for Rhody basketball. And they happen one practice at a time. Every practice session begins with a goal, follows a minute-by-minute plan, and ends with a solution: becoming better than the day before. “We are starting to establish our expectations in terms of pace and tempo in the gym, weight room, and classroom. We are teaching guys how they will exist in our program, how they will be micromanaged socially, academically, and athletically. We’re on them every single second of the day,” Coach Hurley said.
It’s a high standard of excellence with one ingredient – hard work. And it’s a Hurley trademark he learned as a standout for St. Anthony High School in Jersey City playing for his father, Bob Hurley Sr., who’s won more than 1,000 games, 27 state parochial titles and 26 state championships, with seven undefeated seasons. Playing for his father exposed Coach Hurley to a basketball culture that took his game to the highest level and taught lifelong lessons he wants hoping to instill in his URI team.
“I want a program that can compete every year for a championship, one that can get very used to playing in the NCAA tournament and be a major factor in March. That’s what I came here to do. With a total commitment by everyone involved, I believe it can be done.”