Report: URI To Extend Hurley’s Contract
Sunday, April 07, 2013
For the past few days, they have been reading various reports saying that men's basketball coach Dan Hurley was the top candidate to replace the recently fired Mike Rice at Rutgers. But much has happenned over the past couple of days which has helped change that equation.
According to SI.com's Pete Thamel, URI is about to give Hurley an extension of his contract for another two years through the 2019-2020 season.
While many speculated that Hurley would not only be a top candidate for the Rutgers post but that he would also want to take the job back in his home state of New Jersey, a chain of events over the past two days changed that way of thinking.
One day after Mike Rice was fired, it was widely believed that Hurley was the top choice of athletic director Tim Pernetti to replace him at Rutgers. However, Pernetti was forced to resign yesterday amidst increasing presure from members of the faculty and administration at the school as well as prominent alumni. Now that Pernetti is no longer there, there is a tremendous amount of uncertainty as to whom might be the next men's basketball coach at Rutgers.
While Rutgers is expected to name an interim AD within the coming days, no one knows if that person will be in charge of heading up the search for a new men's basketball coach or not. It is also possible that the school could hire a new AD and let that person head up the search, in which case Hurley's chances of getting the job could decrease even further.
If, for instance, the new AD had ties to another program or coaching tree, he or she may look in that direction despite the pressure from the New York/New Jersey media to hire Hurley.
To his credit, Hurley appears to be taking advantage of his leverage after only one year on the job by entering into talks with Rhody on an extension. Thamel's piece also suggests that Hurley has asked for and will receive more of a committment from URI toward the men's basketball program such as better travel and training table.
While most agree that the Rams should be solid next season and that Hurley can both recruit and coach, the school had better hope that Hurley is indeed the real deal if they are going to commit to him for another seven years. Previous coach Jim Baron had his contract extended by the school and never delivered the program to the promise land that is the NCAA Tournament.
Add to that the financial woes of the state of Rhode Island, and getting out of a lengthy deal with Hurley or any coach would be very difficult to do unless there were only a year or so remaining on his contract.
Still, you'd have to say that this is a big victory for AD Thorr Bjorn and URI.
It looks like Dan Hurley will continue to call Rhode Island his home.