Source: Danny Hurley spurns Rutgers

Updated: April 12, 2013, 1:28 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Rhode Island coach Danny Hurley was offered the Rutgers job Monday night, turned it down late Wednesday night and will sign an extension Thursday night that will keep him with the Rams until 2019-20, a source with direct knowledge told ESPN.com.

The 40-year old New Jersey native mulled over the offer for two days before declining what was a $1 million-a-year salary, but only a five-year contract.

Hurley didn't want to take his third job in three years after arriving in Kingston, R.I., last year from Wagner. Hurley and the Rams finished 8-21 (3-13 A-10) in his first season. But for Hurley to seriously consider the deal, which, according to the source came from Rutgers president Robert Barchi through a search firm led by former coach Eddie Fogler, it would have to be a deal of at least eight years due to the chaos at the school and the move to the Big Ten.

"For me, my family loves Rhode Island, loves the people there. We've adjusted really, really well to living outside of New Jersey for the first time in our lives," Hurley said Sunday on ESPN Radio's "The Ian O'Connor Show." "Two of my three years as a college coach have been in rebuilding situations, and that's a tough thing to go through. It takes a lot of energy and a lot of wear and tear on you."

Hurley's deal includes mostly raises for his assistant coaches, as well as more chartered flights for road trips.

Multiple coaches were approached Thursday through intermediaries to gauge interest in the job, according to sources, but were concerned about the school not having an athletic director and the ongoing investigation into the way in which Mike Rice coached during his tenure and the subsequent inquiry into his three-game suspension and $50,000 fine.

Sources said Rutgers was concerned that if a coach wasn't hired quickly, then there could be mass defections. Two players already have transferred.

Multiple sources said there is a possibility Rutgers could look to assistant David Cox as an interim coach during the bridge season while the Scarlet Knights play in the new American Athletic Conference before moving to the Big Ten in fall 2014-15. The school is looking for a new athletic director, too, after Tim Pernetti resigned.

SI.com reported Saturday night that Hurley was close to a two-year extension that would keep him under contract at Rhode Island through 2020. Asked on "The Ian O'Connor Show" if he was indeed close to a deal that would eliminate him as a Rutgers candidate, Hurley didn't specifically address his contract.

"We've had ongoing conversations for the last several months about the things that we need as a program to close that competitive balance with where the Atlantic 10 is going as a conference, to try to have the things for our program and our players that enhance their development ... and just get it on par with the people we're competing against in our conference," Hurley said.

"I'm really happy with where I am right now, and getting these things in place programmatically so that we can elevate the program at the University of Rhode Island to a point where maybe we're playing this time of the year in the future. But having those things in place I think is critical for me as a competitor.

"I want to be in position where I can take a program to the highest levels of college basketball, and the commitment that I think we're on the verge of making at Rhode Island, and with all the recruiting and the level we're going to coach guys at, I'm really excited to be there and want to be there."

Information from ESPNNewYork.com was used in this report.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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