A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that Dan Hurley has agreed to a contract extension with the University of Rhode Island, officially eliminating him from contention for the coaching position at Rutgers.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Rhode Island has not announced the deal, which will extend Hurley's tenure with the Rams through the 2019-20 season.
Hurley, 40, and Rhode Island began working on the parameters of the deal last week, and on Monday, Rutgers spoke with him. It seemed like a logical fit, as Hurley grew up in Jersey City, N.J., played at Seton Hall and was an assistant coach at Rutgers.
Even though it did not work out, the conversation with Hurley suggests the Scarlet Knights and interim athletic director Carl Kirschner are looking for a coach first, before an athletic director, a week after Rice was fired and Tim Pernetti resigned from those respective posts amid the basketball video scandal.
The person who spoke to the AP said that Rutgers, with a search committee now in place, has a strong interest in Eddie Jordan, an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers who played at Rutgers from 1973-77.
Hurley coached high school ball at St. Benedict's Prep, in Newark, N.J., and is a high school graduate of St. Anthony's in his hometown, where he played for his father, Bob Sr. -- so he clearly has ties to New Jersey. But he has only been with the Rams for one season, he originally signed a six-year deal worth approximately $4 million last year, and has high hopes for the Atlantic 10 program next year.
As part of the extension, Rhode Island will commit itself to financially improving the program. Hurley went 8-21 with the Rams last year, after posting a 38-23 record with Wagner in two seasons there.
He was an assistant with the Scarlet Knights from 1997-2001 and has been on the fast track ever since. St. Benedict's developed into a national power during his tenure (2001-2010) and Wagner saw enough in him, despite his lack of college experience, to lead a program that went 5-26 the season before he arrived. In his first season at the Staten Island school, he went 13-17, and the following year he finished 25-6.
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