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Hurley named head men’s basketball coach

Bobby Hurley, Danny White

Athletic Director Danny White (right) gives Bobby Hurley, UB's 12th head men's basketball coach, a UB jersey. Photo: PAUL HOKANSON

By JON FULLER

Published March 28, 2013

“Coach Hurley adds an exciting dynamic to our athletic program.”
Danny White, Director of Athletics

Bobby Hurley, one of the most iconic figures in college basketball history, has been named the 12th head men's basketball coach at UB.

He joins UB from the University of Rhode Island where he has been serving as associate head coach.

Athletics Director Danny White made the announcement on March 26 at a press conference in Alumni Arena.

"After reviewing a large and highly qualified national pool and following my conversations with some of the most respected figures in college athletics, Coach Hurley was clearly the choice to lead the next era of UB basketball," White said. "As we continue to foster our role as the flagship athletic department for the state of New York, the appointment of Coach Hurley sends a clear statement that the University at Buffalo is committed to bringing big time college athletics to the Western New York community and the state at large.

"Coach Hurley adds an exciting dynamic to our athletic program," White added. "He is one of the most accomplished players in college basketball history, with a legacy that includes three Final Four appearances and winning two national championships. I'm confident, after our discussions, that he is the right leader to take our program to the next level. We couldn't be more proud to welcome Bobby, Leslie and their family to the Western New York community."

A first-team All-American in 1993, Hurley is best remembered for being the point guard at Duke—one of the best college basketball teams of all time. Along with Western New York native Christian Laettner, Hurley led the Blue Devils to three Final Four appearances and consecutive national championships in 1991 and 1992. Hurley still holds the NCAA record for career assists with 1,076.

Following his career at Duke, Hurley was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the seventh pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. He went on to play five years in the NBA with the Kings and Vancouver Grizzlies.

Hurley joined the Philadelphia 76ers as a scout in 2003 before venturing into private business. He was hired as an assistant coach at Wagner College in 2010 and spent two seasons with the Seahawks, playing a critical role in rebuilding the men's basketball team. He helped lead Wagner to a 25-6 record during the 2011-12 season—its best record in school history—before joining Rhode Island, where he was associate head coach this past season.

Hurley comes from a strong basketball lineage. His father, Bob Sr., is a legendary coach in the high school ranks, leading perennial power St. Anthony's High School in Jersey City, N.J., to 26 state championships and more than 1,000 wins in 39 years of coaching. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. Hurley's brother, Dan, is the head men's basketball coach at Rhode Island, after a successful tenure at Wagner College and an outstanding prep school coaching career.

Hurley and his wife, Leslie, have two daughters, Cameron and Sydney, and a son, Bobby.

"I am incredibly happy for Bobby and for the Buffalo basketball program,” said Mike Krzyzewski, head men's basketball coach at Duke University. “What a great marriage it will be for Bobby to work with Danny White. The two will form an incredible team that will take Buffalo basketball to another level of success. Bobby Hurley is as good of a competitor and the equal of any guard to play in the history of college basketball,” Krzyzewski said.

ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas called UB’s hiring of Hurley “inspired.”

“Bobby is one of the most intense and courageous competitors I have ever been around, and he has a great feel for the game. He is a winner in every sense of the word, but he also has a refreshing humility and blue-collar approach,” Bilas said. “Bobby is a great person, and an outstanding young basketball coach. Buffalo just hit it out of the park by hiring Bobby."