It’s amazing how some people get their chances to be head basketball coaches. It might take a last minute phone call of a recommendation or perhaps an e-mail with kind words.
Or perhaps your last name happens to be Hurley. That’s good for a few points.
Or even better, you happen to be Bobby Hurley, the former Duke All-American point guard and NBA lottery pick.
Hurley was pretty content being the associate head coach at the University of Rhode Island, where his younger brother, Dan, is the head coach. He was making plans to hit the recruiting trail for Rhode Island, poised to help bring top players to URI for the Hurley brothers to work with together.
But then Danny White, the athletic director at the University of Buffalo, whose father, Kevin White, is the athletic director at Bobby’s alma mater of Duke, makes a call to Bobby to see his interest at becoming a head coach and the wheels start to churn instantly.
“A lot has happened in the last 48 hours,” Bobby Hurley said Tuesday, at a rapidly organized press conference announcing that the older Hurley brother had become the third head coach in the family. “I was able to get a real feel for the program and I’m awfully excited to be here.”
The terms of Hurley’s contract were not released, but it is believed that he received a five-year contract to become the school’s new head coach.
The Bulls were 14-20 this season, so the administration decided to replace long-time head coach Reggie Witherspoon and replace him with Hurley.
Hurley was quick to thank the other two head coaches in his family, namely his brother and his father.
“I had the best experience for the last three years, getting a chance to work with my brother,” Bobby Hurley said of the two seasons at Wagner on Staten Island and the one season at URI. “I’ve learned so much from Dan and I owe him so much.”
Then Bobby referred to his Hall of Fame father, St. Anthony head coach Bob. It’s almost too unreal for words that there are three head basketball coaches coming from the same family. That’s better than what the Harbaugh family did in the Super Bowl – plus one.
“I learned the game of basketball from my Dad,” Bobby Hurley said. “There’s no way I’d be in the position I am today without learning the game from him.”
The 41-year-old (isn’t that almost too unreal for words?) Hurley said that he’s going to instill some of the traits he had as a player, earning the Most Outstanding Player of the 1991 NCAA Tournament, to his new team.
“I’m a firm believer of practicing hard,” Hurley said. “What I achieved as a player was because of my work ethic. We’re going to play hard defense and we’re going to inspire the crowds in Buffalo to come out and see us play hard. It’s the key of what I’m going to do going forward, make sure the team plays hard defense.”
Added Hurley, “I have a lot of work to do, putting a staff together, hitting the recruiting trail. I’m excited about this opportunity and we’ll have a lot of excitement moving forward.”
There was a time in his life where Bobby Hurley didn’t want to have the responsibilities of being a head basketball coach. But a lot has changed in the 15 years since Hurley retired as a player. Now, he’s getting the chance to be like his father and brother were before him, a head coach. It’s incredible how it all played out, but it certainly didn’t hurt that his name was Bobby Hurley…
As one door opens, others have closed. St. Peter’s University announced Tuesday that long-time women’s basketball coach Stephanie DeWolfe had resigned after a dismal 2-28 campaign. DeWolfe was a standout player for the Peahens during her heyday and was hand-picked by legendary coach Mike Granelli to replace him as head coach nine years ago. Granelli hoped that the winning ways would just continue under DeWolfe, but it wasn’t meant to be, as DeWolfe posted a 92-175 record in her nine years.
In comparison, Granelli only lost 249 times in 32 years and won 607 games, still No. 22 all-time in NCAA coaching victories in Division I women’s college basketball.
DeWolfe, who had her second child during the season that just ended, said in a statement that she resigned to spend more time with her family…
Dwayne Williams, who led Marist High School’s football team to its first appearance in the NJSIAA state playoffs since 2005 last fall, has also resigned his head coaching position at the school. Williams cited a difference of opinions with administration as his reason to step down…
And Carlos Rodriguez, who spearheaded a rally to bring back football to his alma mater of Dickinson, then served as the head coach last fall as the program played on a sub-varsity level, will also not return this fall, as the program makes the move toward returning to varsity status....
Needless to say, it was a week of change for local coaches, both on the high school and college levels…--Jim Hague
Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.