It's safe to assume Ray Anderson's head coaching wishlist went something like this. Former guard for a Power Five conference team? Check. Duke graduate? Check. Success with a former meh mid-major program? Check. Former NCAA National Champion? CHECK.
Pull the curtain boys! Show us what we've won!
Bobby Hurley is your new @SunDevilHoops head coach! #HurleyASU pic.twitter.com/Jkj1xIfmMs— Joey Artigue (@Joey_Artigue) April 9, 2015
No Jeff Capel behind Curtain #2, but believe me; Bobby Hurley is certainly no Zonk.
The former Blue Devil is still relatively new to this whole head coaching thing, but he's learned from the best. Father Bob Hurley is one of very few high school head coaches to be inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame, winning 27 state championships with St. Anthony High School in New Jersey. His brother and former boss Dan Hurley has spent the last three years flipping a former sub-par URI team and taking them to their first NIT since 2010. Oh and Bobby used to play for that Coach K guy. Rumor is he's decent too.
Ol' Bobby's no slouch himself. Bobby took the reins at Buffalo after 14 year head coach Reggie Witherspoon was let go and the bold call paid dividends immediately. He took a sub .500 team from the year previous and led them to two regular season MAC titles, capped off by their first NCAA Tournament appearance in the program's history.
All things considered, Arizona State fell into good hands. CBS Sports did have it right when they said, "the Arizona State job is 'Jeff Capel's, if he wants it.'" Yet, Coach Capel left us at the altar.
No, Bobby Hurley does not have a head coaching track record parallel to the great Capel's. He did not build a middling mid-major into a still standing juggernaut or take a traditional football school to the Elite Eight.
What he does have is a big name, two National Championship rings and a wealth of knowledge. Maybe more relevant now because of the 30 For 30: I Hate Christian Laettner than his playing days, the two rings will help clear up any confusion in recruits' living rooms. If anyone can turn around Tra Holder and help these guards fill the shoes Jahii left behind, it's Coach Hurley.
An added bonus is his fiery demeanor will be a nice change of pace from stone face Sendek. The occasional technical never hurt anyone.
I'll leave you on this note. The last time we settled for a "second choice," that coach brought us consecutive 10 win seasons and a shot at the conference title. Some food for thought for Sun Devils and Wildcats alike; Hermione can't protect you forever.
@RyanMcGinn_ pic.twitter.com/fh9os1lwQD— Univ. of Arizona (@UofA) April 9, 2015