After two successful seasons at Buffalo, Bobby Hurley has agreed to become the next head coach at Arizona State.
Hurley, 43, went 42-20 at Buffalo and led the Bulls to the NCAA Tournament last season.
“It’s been a terrific run,” Hurley said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I’m really grateful and thankful to have had the opportunity to coach at Buffalo and to coach the group of kids that I had and to win a conference championship (and) play in the NCAA Tournament. Now it’s another challenge. It’s a big challenge. I’m excited for it. Arizona State has shown me a lot of love. I’m looking forward to what’s ahead with the program.”
Hurley’s basketball past has been well-documented. He played for his father, Bob Hurley Sr., in high school in New Jersey, and he played for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, helping the Blue Devils to national championships in 1991 and 1992. He was an All-American in 1993.
Hurley spent five years in the NBA and began his coaching career in 2010 as an assistant at Wagner and then Rhode Island. He became head coach at Buffalo in 2013, inheriting a team that went 14-20 the previous season. The Bulls went 19-10 in 2013-14 and 23-10 this past season. They won the MAC Tournament and took West Virginia down to the wire in the NCAA Tournament before ultimately losing, 68-62.
“Really, the kids carried me here in a way because of the success that we had,” Hurley said. “My kids played fearlessly for me. They didn’t back down against anyone we played this year. Wisconsin, Kentucky – leading both of those teams for portions of the game and at halftime. With West Virginia – as tough and as physical and as athletic as they are – we had our chances to win that game. But Arizona State is an amazing opportunity. It’s a big-time conference. I’m a competitor, and I want to coach in big-time games and have a chance to go to the NCAA Tournament every year.”
Arizona State went 18-16 (9-9) last season and has made the NCAA Tournament just three times since 1995. Hurley will have to contend with Sean Miller, who has led Arizona to the Elite Eight in three of the last five years, including each of the last two.
“There’s no doubt that they’re established and they have great tradition and they’re rolling right now,” Hurley said. “I’m just going to focus on my program and bringing in the type of players that can compete against them. We’re going to develop our players at a high level and put the time in. I think we have somewhat of a similar background in some ways as players, so hopefully the team will take on my personality in some ways as they play and we’ll be able to compete with those guys.”
Nate Oats, Hurley’s top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Buffalo, will serve as interim head coach for the Bulls.