April 30, 2007

More Assistant Rumors

Filed under: Assistants,Basketball,Coaches — Chas @ 5:04 pm

Rumors and whispers about who will get the assistant coach spot for Pitt basketball continue. Last week it was speculation on a couple other D-1 Assistants who were from Western PA and wanted the Robert Morris gig. This week, maybe it will be a former college head coach and a present high school coach (Insider subs.)

Former College of Charleston head coach Tom Herrion and St. Benedict’s (N.J.) coach Danny Hurley are both being discussed as a possible replacement for Mike Rice, who left after one season to become the head coach at Robert Morris.

Dan Hurley received inquiries last year by Pitt about the open job. It never reached the offer stage, because Hurley decided to remain at what was one of the top HS basketball teams in the country. Hurley obviously makes Pitt very strong in the NJ area and into Philly and NY. Travon Woodall, one of his father’s players, already committed to Pitt and he and Nasir Robinson already reaffirmed their commitment to Pitt.

As for Tom Herrion. He was 80-38 in four years at the College of Charleston. That sounds good, but his win totals fell each year and the fans were quickly disgruntled with him. He was an excellent and assistant for Pete Gillen at Providence and at Virginia. In fact, the fall of Gillen at Virginia has been attributed to not finding an equally good recruiter. His older brother, Bill, is the head coach at New Hampshire (before that he was the Head Coach at East Carolina where he recruited and coached Mike Cook).

Both would appear to be excellent choices. Herrion has been an effective recruiter in multiple stops — regardless of geography. Hurley (if he’s interested), obviously, would provide a strong pull in NJ/NY/Philly.

[…] As previously documented, Danny Hurley declined to interview for the vacant Pitt assistant gig last year. He cited family/lifestyle issues. Looks like, with a second chance at the gig he is reconsidering Hurley has actually interviewed with Coach Dixon for the job (via Big East Basketball Blog). Hurley, the son of future Hall of Famer Bob Hurley of St. Anthony’s HS in Jersey City, has transformed the Newark, N.J. prep school into a national power and has a blue chip junior in 6-8 center Samardo Samuels, who is a Top 25 prospect nationally. […]

[…] Last week, I mentioned that Tom Herrion and Danny Hurley were candidates for the lead assistant coach job in basketball. Well, with Hurley declining, Herrion gets the chance according to the e-mailed story from Pittsburgh Sports Report. Herrion, 39, is back in the coaching ranks after losing his head coach coaching job at the College of Charleston after the 2005-06 season despite a four year record of 80-38. Herrion found it difficult to live up the expectations of replacing John Kresse, a coach so popular and successful that the new College of Charleston arena was named after him. Herrion was 25-8 in his first season, including an NIT appearance, but the wins declined each season. The Cougars were 17-11 in ’05-’06, when he was fired despite having four years left on his contract. He negotiated a buyout of $787,000. […]

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