Bob Hurley Sr. is probably best known, among casual sports fans around the country, as the father of Bobby Hurley, the former love ‘em-or-hate ‘em point guard for two-time national champion Duke.
In basketball coaching circles, he’s a lot more than a famous dad.
Coach Hurley, who with his St. Anthony’s team from Jersey City, N.J. faced off with Central Catholic last night, might be the best basketball coach in the world.
Yes, the world.
He surpassed 1,000 wins in Feb. of 2011. His St. Anthony’s teams have won an amazing 26 state titles in 39 years. Last year’s team was named national champions by USA Today. More than 100 of his former players have played at the Division 1 level, including six from his 2007-08 team.
The retired probation officer is also one of three high school coaches in the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
“He’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever been around — pro, college or high school,” said UMass Lowell men’s basketball coach and North Andover resident Greg Herenda, who is in his 30th year as a coach.
“Bob Hurley not only has one of the great minds of the game, but he has a special talent when it comes to motivating players. He is truly a coaching legend.”
Herenda is speaking from experience. His connection to Hurley is a deep one.
They both not only attended St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City (Hurley is 65, Herenda is 51), only a stone’s throw away from the Hudson River dividing New Jersey and Manhattan, but Herenda attended Hurley’s camp as a 13-year-old.
Hurley grew up idolizing another former St. Peter’s Prep great, George Blaney. Herenda later was an assistant coach for Blaney at Holy Cross and Seton Hall, where Hurley’s other son, Danny, played.