The search at the University of Rhode Island is in full swing. AD Thorr Bjorn is moving quickly on this one. Here are the names that I keep hearing….
Danny Hurley – Wagner head coach. If Bjorn is looking for a “hot” name and wants to make a splash, Hurley would be the guy. Hurley led the Seahawks to a 25-6 record this season (doubled the win total from his first season). Hurley will be a wanted man this off-season – not sure URI has the dough to pony up and make a serious run at him.
Jim Christian – TCU head coach. He is a URI alum (’88) – played for Tom Penders on the squad that advanced to the Sweet 16. Had a great run at Kent State – won at least 21 games in each of his six seasons. Had his best season at TCU this year (17 wins + a CBI bid).
Steve Pikiell – Stony Brook head coach. Has done a great job turning Stony Brook into an AE contender. Has won at least 22 games in two out of the past three seasons. Team got an NIT bid this after going 22-9 this season (lost to Vermont in the AE championship game). A New England native who played at UConn.
Jimmy Patsos – Loyola (MD) head coach. Another New England native who has strong Rhode Island ties. Was a long time assistant at Maryland under Gary Williams. Has his team dancing this year – they will face Ohio State in the first round on Thursday.
Jim Ferry – Long Island U head coach. Has taken his squad to the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row. Has won 52 games and two NEC titles over that span. Before LIU, he went 82-11 as the head coach at Adelphi.
Bruiser Flint – Head coach Drexel. Won 27 games this season and earned an NIT bid (some say they should have gotten an NCAA bid). Has won 197 games in his 11 seasons at Drexel. Also went 86-72 in five seasons at UMass.
Al Skinner – Former Boston College and URI head coach. Was the head coach at URI from 1988-97 (138-126). Was at the helm at Boston College for 13 seasons after that (247-165). His NCAA tourney experience is apparently what interests Bjorn here.
What’s the one theme here? They are all head coaches. I have heard some assistants names mentioned (Kentucky’s Orlando Antigua and Providence’s Andre LaFleur), but I don’t think that is the direction that this search is heading. This search should wrap-up in less than three weeks.