Next up in our award-winning series is current Rhode Island head coach Danny Hurley.
The younger brother of Bobby and son of legendary High School coach Bob Sr., Hurley has shown the ability to not only coach winning teams,, but build programs. While Georgetown isn’t a teardown situation, there is potentially plenty of work for any coach entering. The Hoyas are coming off back-to-back losing seasons and, for now, only have eight players on scholarship for the 2017-18 season.
Let’s start from the beginning. This Hurley knows the Big East vibe from his playing days at Seton Hall (1992-96). The point guard averaged 14.3 points and 5.2 assists during his senior campaign. Early in his coaching career he served as an assistant at Rutgers.
Then he went down a level to take over as head coach for St. Benedict’s (New Jersey), turning the program into a national force. Over nine seasons, 223-21. It’s not often High School coaches make the jump straight to a D1 job. Hurley’s resume and presumably that family name helped make him an exception.
He went to Wagner in 2010, inheriting a team coming off a 5-26 season. Two years later, the Seahawks went 25-6. Then Hurley went off to Rhode Island.
The Atlantic 10 program had success at times over the years, but no NCAA Tournament appearances since 1999. The year before Hurley arrived, the Rams finished 7-24. After winning only 23 games during his first two seasons, Rhode Island turned into an A-10 contender with a 23-10 record in 2014-15.
Hype was legit at that point, but the Rams dipped to an underwhelming 17-15 the following season. The AP voters still believed and voted Rhode Island No. 23 in its preseason poll. Five months later, the Rams won the A-10 Tournament, reached the NCAA’s. After taking down Creighton 84-72, they lost to Oregon in the second round, finishing the season 25-10.
No disrespect to the fine folks of Rhode Island, but there’s no comparison with the DMV when it comes to a recruiting area. Imagine Danny, a successful coach on the HS level and the son of one of the all-time greats, unleashed in these parts. There’s no need imagining whether he can turn a program around. Been there, done that.
Desirability rating: 8 out of 10
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