***this older pic was intentionally used s/o t-ror***
Wow look at all the love those tweets got from an essentially inactive, but once v popular twitter account. If only some guy who ran that twitter account in college had a blog and was just waiting for his big break. He's already as, if not more talented than multiple people already working at barstool, how crazy would that be??? I bet if his tweets had the audience they'd get much more love as well.
There have been rumors about URI men's basketball coach Danny Hurley leaving the program for greener pastures pretty much since his first day in Kingston. The "URI is just a stepping stone school for him" narrative was heavy AF from the get go. His name was floated around when Rutgers had a head coaching vacancy. Due to his New Jersey ties it seemed like he was good as gone when the news broke that Rutgers was interested. Instead he signed a contract extension. After six seasons (holy fuck time is flying) as of now he's still here.
The 2017-18 A-10 coach of the year has been linked to two higher profile coaching gigs at the University of Connecticut and University of Pittsburgh. Both can offer him more money and are historically more prestigious programs, so it seems like a no brainer to move on right?
Well, Dan Hurley is not your typical coach. He didn't see URI as a stepping stone, but rather as a blank slate. URI was frankly, an irrelevant program before he showed up. From the 1999-2000 to 2011-2012 seasons the Rams made the NCAA tournament as many times as Alien Ant Farm won a grammy, which for those of you keeping track at home is exactly zero times. It was a program with aside from two Cinderella tournament runs and a coach who invented the fast-break, not much of a legacy. Playing in the A-10 in a relatively nice arena (don't get me started on the Ryan Center's design flaws) the potential to turn this program was there. It was a program that he could turn into his own. Make it his legacy to be the man who turned URI into a respectable basketball program at a national level.
In his 6 years as the Rams HC they've it to March Madness twice. I don't even count the first two years against him because he needed to recruit his own team and TBH if E.C. Matthews doesn't get hurt against American, he probably makes it to the big dance in the 2015-2016 season. So it's basically like 2 tourney appearances in 3 years.
After two straight NCAA tournament campaigns, (both time the Rams were able to win a game) URI is suddenly becoming a power in the A-10. They are talked about on a national scale, not just the ProJo or Narragansett Times. Idk if you know this or not but they had one of the deepest back courts in college basketball.
Despite interviewing with Pitt and UCONN it seems like Hurley is giving the University of Rhode Island every opportunity to hang on to him.
All Hurley wants is for URI (a historically cheap university when it comes to funding athletics) to put a little more money into the program to update it and so he can compete with other schools when it comes to recruiting. If URI is willing to spend millions building a dorm on a sink hole the least they could do is put some resources into the basketball program. I'm sure he wants a little more money too, but I don't think he's asking for too much. They don't need to pay him $4 million a year. I truly believe deep down he wants to stay, but if the school isn't going to invest in the program I understand why he'd move on.
He wants to take care of the coaches he has on staff, and the players on the team with nicer facilities (URI doesn't even have a basketball practice complex). Stuff like that matters when recruiting, shit like locker room and overall swag (what a lame wording by me) can be a deal breaker. I went to URI so I'm not exactly great with math and finances but there's gotta be a way this school with a 125 million dollar endowment can afford to retain one of the best coaches in college basketball.
So essentially Danny Hurley is willing to take less significantly less of a salary to stay at URI and keep building this program into something special if they can stop acting like a division three school when it comes to the athletic budget. In my eyes URI has two options here:
1. Build off the momentum of the last two seasons, and give Hurley what he wants to keep him, turn URI into a perennial tournament team which equals more money from the university in the long run.
2. Let him walk, and hire some nobody on the cheap, go back to being a middle of the road A-10 team that goes nearly two full decades without making the NCAA tournament.
After they lost Jim Harrick in 1999 the Rams replaced him with Jerry DeGregorio who won a grand total of 12 games in two years. I don't wanna wait until I'm 40 to see Rhody dance again. URI already runs a bare bones operation as it is. Their facilities are garbage, they have the minimum number of men's athletic programs to retain division one status. Even if they lose Hurley these are upgrades that need to be made.
The funny thing is I don't even think that Dan Hurley is that great of an x's and o's coach, but he's been so important in changing the culture of this program that you can live with some questionable offensive decisions and inability to close out close games. I truly believe he is what made URI basketball matter again. He is why guys want to come play at URI. The upcoming URI recruiting class is a top 25 class. His name and recruiting ability turned URI from an irrelevant program to a team ranked in the top 20 with NCAA tournament wins in each of the last two seasons.
I've said this for years but I believe Dan Hurley could turn URI basketball into the next UCONN if given the opportunity. I know that sounds crazy but I believe URI could become a Gonzaga like program over time if the school would invest in the program. They play in one of the best mid major conferences in all of basketball, if not the best. Of course UCONN is a bigger school with a bigger budget, but it wasn't always that way. The success of UCONN basketball (both men's and women's) changed everything for the better for UCONN as a university. UCONN basketball wasn't exactly Kentucky, Indiana or North Carolina historically until Jim Calhoun showed up. They made the NCAA tournament just 13 times before Jim Calhoun became their head coach in 1986. Then he changed the legacy of that program forever. 3 National Championships, and a 4th that was won with his team. Storrs, CT isn't exactly a dream place to live for a college basketball star, yet he was able to get guys to go there, win and turn the University of Connecticut into a national title contender. I believe that Kingston, RI could follow suit.
One thing I hate during these debates on paying coaches is the whole "he's already the highest paid state employee". No shit, that's how college sports fucking work.
To quote the great Jim Calhoun in his famous "not a dime back" press conference, he referenced how much money he and the basketball program bring brought into the state of Connecticut. Same could just as well happen for Rhody.
This decision could potentially set the program up for a decade of success or going back to being a boring middle of the pack A-10 team. It really could change the future of the university as a whole. I truly believe that. I think Dan Hurley is the type of coach who could make URI one of the mid major powerhouses. It's a great campus in a nice location, with the hottest girls in New England (there's a URI smoke on barstool like 4 times a week), you can get guys to come here as long as Hurley is around. Dan Hurley wants to stay, all the school needs to do is invest in him and their basketball program. It comes down to simple dollar and cents. Does the University of Rhode Island want to invest in it's athletics as a potential revenue stream for the University or keep cutting corners? Gotta spend money to make money. All I want is for my Alma Mater to at least act like they actually care about winning instead of money.