A New Era Has Begun at URI

By Brandyn Smith

Wagner coach 39 year old Dan Hurley accepted the head coaching job for the Rhode Island Rams basketball program back in March.  He is looking to turn around a Rams team that did not make the NCAA tournament during the 11 year tenure of Jim Baron.  Last year URI went 7-24, and 4-12 in the Atlantic 10 division.  Hurley spend two seasons at Wagner going 38-23.  Before the season he took over at Wagner, the team was 5-26, and this past season the team had a school record 25 wins.  Dan Hurley is most recognized for his success at the high school level.  Following in the footsteps of his father, hall of fame high school coach Bob Hurley, Dan Hurley was successful at Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School in New Jersey.  In nine years at Saint Benedict’s Prep Hurley went 223-21, making it one of the best high school programs in the country.  With the Coach Hurley era now starting at URI, things are going to start looking up for the Rams basketball program.  This was a great hire for the university as they have a coach that has proven to be a winner at different levels, and has a passion and dedication that will be contagious to his players.  His brother, and former Duke guard Bobby Hurley will also be joining the new coaching staff.

Hurley’s style of play is one that is characterized by being aggressive on the offensive end of the floor as well as the defensive end of the floor.  Coach Hurley said “There’s only certain types of kids that can play for us because we (coaching staff) are very demanding.”  Being the type of coach that holds players accountable is so important to being successful.  Accountability not only leads to success on the court, but off the court as well.  Hurley has made it clear that he wants great young men along with having great basketball players.

From day one Hurley will make an effort to get to know his new players and establish a new standard for the program by emphasizing what will be acceptable, and focusing on the future success of the team.  Once his standard have been established, the recruiting process will be his next step.  Being at a higher level such as the Atlantic 10 Hurley has a lot to sell to incoming seniors.  He was a successful recruiter in his two years at Wagner in the NEC (Northeast Conference). In the Atlantic 10, Hurley will now have an even greater opportunity to sell himself as well as the University of Rhode Island. URI fans will be proud of the culture that Hurley will bring to the basketball program.

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