July 31, 1947 |
Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1972–present||St. Anthony High School|
|Accomplishments and honors|
27 state championships
USA Today National Coach of the Year, 1989, 1996, 2008
|Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2010 (profile)
Robert Matthew "Bob" Hurley, Sr. (born July 31, 1947)1 is the basketball coach at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, New Jersey. Hurley has amassed 26 state championships and more than 1000 wins in 39 years as a coach, creating a national powerhouse despite older facilities and financial limitations. On February 2, 2011, Hurley became the tenth coach in high school history to win 1000 games.2 Five of his teams have gone undefeated, including his 2007–08 team. On April 5, 2010, he was announced as the only coach to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame that year and only the third high school coach in history to be so honored;3 he was formally inducted on August 13 of that year. Hurley is the father of Bobby Hurley, a former All-American point guard at Duke and the Head basketball coach at University at Buffalo, and Dan Hurley, who was hired in February 2012 to coach the University of Rhode Island after two years of coaching at Wagner College and nine years coaching at Newark's Saint Benedict's Preparatory School, also one of the top high school programs in the nation.
Hurley's undefeated 1989 team, which featured Jerry Walker, Hurley's son Bobby, Terry Dehere, and Rodrick Rhodes, was ranked first in the nation by USA Today. Three of the players on that team — Bobby Hurley, Dehere and Rhodes — were first round draft choices in the NBA draft. That team won New Jersey's first Tournament of Champions and amassed 50 straight victories in a two-year span. It is generally considered one of the best teams in New Jersey history.4
Hurley's 2007–08 squad was also undefeated, finishing with 32 wins and no losses and ranked number one in the U.S. even though no starter is taller than 6'6". The '08 team, with six seniors accepting Division I basketball scholarships, also won Hurley's 10th Tournament of Champions, winning its state tournament games by an average of more than 27 points per game.56 The team also won St. Anthony's 26th state championship, more than any other school in U.S. history.7 Hurley was the coach for 23 of those teams and an assistant coach on the other two. His teams are known for their speed, defensive intensity, and precise ball movement.
Hurley's 2003–04 team, also undefeated and ranked second in the nation, is the subject of The Miracle of St. Anthony, a best-selling book by Adrian Wojnarowski. The book chronicles how the team marched to an unbeaten season, state title, and number 2 national ranking despite off-the-court crises and not having a single senior graduate to a Division I program.8 St. Anthony, run by Felician nuns, has achieved this success with a student body of just 235, one of New Jersey's smallest.
Over the years, though, more than 100 graduates of the program have earned Division I basketball scholarships, including six from the 2007–08 team. Every senior to graduate from his program has won at least one state championship, with many winning several. Hurley has also produced a total of five first round NBA draft picks: his son, Bobby, Dehere, Rhodes, David Rivers, and Roshown McLeod. Hurley has never been a teacher at or a full-time employee of St. Anthony. For most of his career, the coach was employed as a probation officer. Thereafter, he worked for the Jersey City Recreation Department, but has since retired. He has been instrumental in the restoration of the historic Jersey City Armory to a modern sports arena.9
Hurley gained national attention when his son Bobby graduated and became a four-year starter and All-American at Duke University. Bobby, along with Grant Hill and Christian Laettner, led Duke to two NCAA titles.
Over the years, Hurley has been offered a number of college coaching jobs. He has turned them all down. He is also one of just a few high school coaches to be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.10
In 2007–08, TeamWorks Media  was granted access to film a documentary portrait of Hurley and St. Anthony High School's fundraising effort. "The Street Stops Here,"  directed by Kevin Shaw , captured challenges that tested Hurley's resolve. The most talented senior class Hurley ever assembled, with six seniors headed to Division I schools, was about to graduate without having won a state championship – something that has never happened to one of his teams. Even more dire, fundraising efforts were tied to a major Wall Street firm responsible for the current U.S. recession, raising a financial crisis that threatened to close St. Anthony.
The documentary captured several compelling moments as Hurley's team went undefeated that season, winning their 25th State Title and third mythical National Championship as voted upon by USA Today. The Friars were bolstered by top-notch talent currently starring at major Division I programs; Mike Rosario (Florida), Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas), Travon Woodall (Pittsburgh), Jio Fontan (Southern California) and Dominic Cheek (Villanova). Other major prep players from that time making an appearance in the film include Sacramento Kings Tyreke Evans (American Christian H.S.) Indiana Pacers Lance Stephenson (Lincoln Brooklyn H.S.) and North Carolina swingman Dexter Strickland (St. Patrick's of Elizabeth, NJ). Interviews from Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and North Carolina's Roy Williams are featured.
In the last five years, Hurley's teams have been challenged for supremacy in the state by St. Patrick's High School of Elizabeth and Saint Benedict's Preparatory School of Newark. St. Patrick's had been coached by Kevin Boyle, who, like Hurley, is a graduate of Saint Peter's College in Jersey City. St. Benedict's was coached until 2010 by Bob's younger son, Dan Hurley, who played for St. Anthony and then Seton Hall University.1112 All three schools are within 10 miles of each other and have been consistently ranked in the top 10 in the nation in the past few seasons. Indeed in 2008, when Bob's team was ranked #1 in the nation, Dan's St. Benedict's squad was ranked #2, and only a 3-point loss kept St. Benedict's from an undefeated season and a #1 ranking of its own.
- "Robert "Bob" Hurley, Sr.". Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
- The Hurleys Build a Dynasty by Grant Glickson, The New York Times, February 1, 2004. Accessed February 12, 2008.
- "Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2010" (Press release). Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. 2010-04-05. Retrieved 2010-04-05.
- "St. Anthony Takes Title to End at 32–0". New York Times, march 20, 1989. March 20, 1989. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
- "St. Anthony Captures T of C Crown". The Star Ledger, March 18, 2008.
- "For St. Anthony, a State Title Would Be the Perfect Ending by Zachary Braziller". The New York Times, February 27, 2008. February 27, 2008. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
- "A Step Closer to Perfection by Kevin Armstrong". Sports Illustrated, March 6, 2008. March 6, 2008. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
- "A Basketball Miracle by Dan Ackman". Forbes.com, April 1, 2005. April 1, 2005.
- Hague, Jim (January 15, 2006). "Historic sports palace restored Jersey City Armory enjoys grand re-opening after 4-million facelift". Hudson Reporter. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- "A Coach Who Likes Just Being in the Present by Dave Anderson". The New York Times, February 22, 2007.
- "The King and Prince of High School Sports by Dan Ackman". The Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2007.
- "Family first: Danny Hurley has built St. Benedict's into a power by Kevin Armstrong". Sports Illustrated, December 16, 2006. December 15, 2006. Retrieved April 26, 2010.