KINGSTON, R.I. – March 20, 2012- Dan Hurley has accepted the position of head men’s basketball coach at the University of Rhode Island, it was announced today by Director of Athletics Thorr Bjorn. Hurley, who spent the last two seasons as head coach at Wagner College in Staten Island, N.Y., becomes the 19th head coach in URI history.
“We are thrilled to name Dan Hurley as our new head men’s basketball coach,” 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.”
While at Wagner, Hurley orchestrated a complete turnaround of the Seahawks program. Inheriting a program that had won just five games in 2009-10, he guided Wagner to 13 victories in his first season at the helm. The eight-win improvement was the nation’s best among first-year head coaches in 2010-11.
This past season, Hurley guided Wagner to a 25-6 overall record and a 15-3 mark in Northeast Conference play. The Seahawks tied for the second in the country with 12 road victories and an .800 road winning percentage (12-3).
“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.”
On Dec. 23, 2011, Hurley guided Wagner to a 59-54 victory at then #15 Pittsburgh. It was the first-ever victory over Pittsburgh by a NEC team, which had lost its last 70 matchups against the Panthers. It was also Wagner’s first victory over a ranked opponent in over 33 years. In his two full seasons at the Staten Island school, Hurley compiled a 38-23 overall record and a 24-12 mark in Northeast Conference games.
Prior to coaching at Wagner, Hurley spent nine seasons as head coach of St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J. During his nine-year tenure at St. Benedict’s (2001-2010), he compiled a 223-21 record, developed four McDonald’s All-Americans, and coached the Grey Bees to four top five finishes in the national rankings.
“Dan is an incredible competitor, who wants nothing more than to help young men grow and develop, on and off the court,” Bjorn added.
A 1996 graduate of Seton Hall, Hurley was a standout guard and finished with 1,070 career points while leading the Pirates to four straight postseason appearances (three NCAA, one NIT).
A native of Jersey City, N.J., Hurley grew up in one of America’s most well-known basketball families. His father, Bob, Sr., is the highly successful head coach at St. Anthony H.S. During the summer of 2011, he became just the second high school coach inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Hurley teamed with his older brother Bobby on the 1989 St. Anthony team that captured the National Championship. Bobby was an All-American guard at Duke and an NBA lottery pick of the Sacramento Kings in 1993 before serving as an assistant at Wagner for the past two seasons.
Hurley began his coaching profession as an assistant to his father at St. Anthony during the 1996-97 season before serving a four-year stint on the Rutgers coaching staff from 1997-2001.
He and his wife Andrea have two sons: Danny (12) and Andrew (10).
Hurley will be introduced to the URI community in a news conference on Wednesday, March 21 at 1 p.m. at Keaney Gymnasium. All Rhody fans and media are welcome to join in the celebration. For more information, visit GoRhody.com.