Rhody fans, breathe a sigh of relief. Late Saturday afternoon, Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel was the first to break the story that Dan Hurley was not only not leaving for Rutgers, but was actually talking contract extension with the University of Rhode Island. The extension will reportedly not involve a raise for Hurley, but rather an increased financial commitment from the University. A two-year extension of Hurley’s contract (as is being reported) would put Dan here through the 2019-20 season. Or, as we prefer to put it, “WHEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!”
The news on this front got a little more solid Sunday morning when Dan was on ESPN Radio to discuss his situation. Some highlights:
“I’ve had no conversations [with Rutgers]. Obviously because of the [Hurley] name and because of our history in New Jersey, there’s going to be a natural connection to be made there.
“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. 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.
“The opportunity to come back to Rhode Island next year and coach a team that hopefully can make a huge jump with all the talent we’re now going to bring onto the court next year, I’m excited … to coach this group of kids that I’m going to be fortunate enough to coach next year.”
Reports from Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal also indicate that negotiations regarding Hurley’s contract have been ongoing for “several weeks” and that they hope to have things finalized soon. Most every quote that’s out there has Hurley and the administration talking “big picture” stuff, with hints at boosting assistant coach pay.
With Rutgers firing Athletic Director Tim Pernetti last week, their coaching search is likely to be slow-going; they’re going to need an AD first before they can even consider bringing on a leader for their basketball program. With that in mind, Rhody fans were on pins and needles, and potentially could have been for the coming weeks and months. This news could not have come at a better time.