Arizona Basketball

ASU’s Hurley on relationship with Arizona Wildcats’ Miller: “We’ll always be friends”



Tucson News Now

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For the first time since Bobby Hurley was hired at ASU, Arizona coach Sean Miller came in contact with him last weekend at a recruiting event.

The coaches were born three years apart (Miller is 46 and Hurley 43) and they hail from the East coast. Although their basketball background with each other is non-existent, Hurley said they share a friendship. He made that comment in an interview with KOLD Channel 13 reporter Dave Cooney today during ASU’s caravan in Tucson.

“I know his family and his background,” Hurley said, referring to Miller’s father, John, and brother, Archie. “I have respect for what he’s done. We’ll always be friends even though we’re gonna be rivals and competitors.”

They don’t share a basketball past because Miller’s coaching history is more extensive. Hurley spent more time with horse racing than coaching since his NBA career ended in 1998.


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ASU's athletic director, wrestling coach and basketball coach were in Tucson today as part of the Sun Devil Caravan in Tucson today (KOLD screen shot)

ASU’s athletic director, wrestling coach and basketball coach were in Tucson today as part of the Sun Devil Caravan (KOLD screen shot)

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The only tie they have is their association with Luke Murray, the son of famous actor Bill Murray. Luke Murray served as a graduate assistant in Miller’s first season at Arizona in 2009-10 before joining Hurley on Wagner’s staff in 2010-11. Wagner was coached by Hurley’s brother, Dan Hurley.

Bobby Hurley joined his brother’s staff for his first experience with basketball since his work as a scout with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2003.

When the Hurleys left for Rhode Island in 2011-12, Luke Murray landed at Towson as an assistant coach. He was there for two seasons before moving to Rhode Island to coach under Dan Hurley again. The spot on the Rams’ staff was available when Bobby Hurley became head coach at Buffalo in 2013-14. Hurley coached two years at Buffalo before his hire at ASU earlier this month.


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Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne engineers many Wildcat caravans through the Phoenix-area and often claims that area is “Wildcat Country”.

ASU had its opportunity to experience the same gathering of Sun Devil followers in Tucson today. The Sun Devil caravan included Hurley, athletic director Ray Anderson and wrestling coach Zeke Jones.

The group gathered at El Saguarito restaurant late in the afternoon before attending the ASU-Arizona baseball game at Hi Corbett Field.

Amphi High School wrestling coach Sam Portillo, who was offered an assistant coaching position by Jones last year, joined the caravan at El Saguarito. A former Sunnyside High School wrestling standout, Portillo is a strong supporter of the Sun Devil program that included wrestling great Thom Ortiz, a classmate of his at Sunnyside. publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.


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