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The first name that came up in many circles when the Rutgers head coaching job opened up was that of Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley.
Son of St. Anthony head coach Bob Hurley Sr. and younger brother of Bobby Hurley (who’s now the head coach at Buffalo), the theory was that Hurley’s return to his home state would rejuvenate the Rutgers program.
But just one day after turning down an offer from Rutgers, Hurley has reportedly agreed to a contract extension at Rhode Island that runs through the 2019-20 season.
In his first season at URI, Hurley’s Rams finished with a record of 8-21 (3-13 Atlantic 10) and failed to qualify for the conference tournament. But despite those struggles the program is headed in the right direction.
Three transfers, including former Rutgers big man Gilvydas Biruta, will be eligible next season and the program also welcomes two talented freshmen in forward Hassan Martin (Staten Island, N.Y.) and guard E.C. Matthews (Romulus, Mich.).
The transfers and newcomers will be important, as the Rams lose two of their top three scorers from this season. However guard Xavier Munford, who averaged 17.3 points per game in 2012-13, will be back to lead the way.
Hurley spent two seasons successfully rebuilding the program at Wagner, and according to ESPN.com he noted how much energy is required during a rebuilding project during an appearance on the “Ian O’Connor Show.”
“For me, my family loves Rhode Island, loves the people there. We’ve adjusted really, really well to living outside of New Jersey for the first time in our lives,” Hurley said Sunday on ESPN Radio’s “The Ian O’Connor Show.” “Two of my three years as a college coach have been in rebuilding situations, and that’s a tough thing to go through. It takes a lot of energy and a lot of wear and tear on you.”
According to ESPN Hurley’s agreement includes raises for his assistants and more chartered flights for road trips, something that has become more important in recent years as conferences have become more spread out geographically.