A “Grand” Milestone for Hurley

Posted by Brian Goodman on February 13th, 2011

Ray Floriani of College Chalk Talk is an RTC contributor. Last week, he filed a report surrounding St. Anthony’s coach Bob Hurley and his 1,000th victory at the school since taking the reins in 1972.

Bob Hurley takes a rare moment, grandson in tow, to speak with reporters following his 1000th victory.

The game of note was a high school contest, but this was of greater significance, one where Bob Hurley of St. Anthony’s would go for his 1,000th career victory. Parking about a block and a half away and making the way to the gym, I could see St. Anthony’s students getting out of school. Their school in the Hamilton Park district of Jersey City has no gym. The home court is at the Golden Door Charter School, a block north of St. Anthony’s.  Entering Golden Door about 45 minutes prior to game time there are already media assembled. By game time there will be more. So much that St. Anthony’s cannot huddle between quarters without a camera or three trying to get inside access.

The opponent this day is St. Mary’s (Jersey City), a school a few blocks away. When Hurley assumed the head coaching reins in 1972, St. Mary’s was a rival, and arguably had the upper hand. Not anymore. Hurley would say that St. Mary’s coach Tom Lalicata “is a very good coach and always does a great job.” He would also point out this team knocked off St. Peter’s Prep, one of the strongest programs in New Jersey. Today, the glory is all St. Anthony’s.  The Friars raced out to a 16-0 lead. The first St. Mary’s points did not come until almost four minutes elapsed in the first quarter. At halftime, St. Anthony’s is coasting, 42-20. The visiting Ramblers show a good-three point touch and play a more competitive second half. Regardless, it ends a 76-46 Friar triumph. Kyle Anderson led the way with 14 points and Rutgers-bound Myles Mack and Jerome Frink added 12.

Even Hurley's timeouts had the media presence of a high-major on Big Monday.

Following the game was a presentation on the court. Hurley spoke to the crowd, thanking them for their support, and acknowledged how his immediate family and ‘Friar’ family contributed to his success and that of St. Anthony’s.  After the presentation, Hurley, despite claiming to be “not much of a media guy” gave interviews at length and with patience spiced with interesting insight.  Not far away, sons Danny and Bobby, who cut Wagner practice short to be here, were interviewed as well. Bobby spoke of the opportunities his dad had and how he almost made the move to a college position in the early 80s. In the end, loyalty took precedence.

Bob Sr. then went on to say the Hall of Fame selection was top but this was a close second. He also spoke of the fact he actually planned to step down in 2005 and retire. “I am a big Bill Parcells fan,” Hurley said. “I remember him talking about his life being empty not being on the sidelines. That stayed with me.”  At this point in life, Hurley is retired. His focus is going to practice, getting ready for games, running an outstanding program and more importantly, making a difference in young lives.  “Registration (for incoming freshmen) is Saturday at St. Anthony’s.” he said. “I will be there meeting and talking with parents.” And, it should be stressed, not just the ones with a son who can get to the rim and/or play lock down defense. “I am hoping this victory gets a few more to registration and ultimately they choose St. Anthony’s.”

Brian Goodman (966 Posts)

Brian Goodman a Big 12 microsite writer. You can follow him on Twitter @BSGoodman.

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