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UB campus reacts to Hurley's departure

Photo by Michael Mroziak

As the University at Buffalo begins its search for a new men's head basketball coach, those who follow the Bulls are coming to terms with the departure of Bobby Hurley, who stayed with the program for only two years but led the team to historic success.

In his second season with the Bulls, which ended last month, Hurley led the team to a Mid-American Conference championship and the program's first-ever appearance in the NCAA men's postseason tournament. But now, he is leaving to take the head coaching job at Arizona State University.

Most students wandering the halls on the UB North Campus were simply going about their business Friday. On the racks were the latest edition of UB's student-run newspaper, the Spectrum, which featured the words "Bye Bye Hurley" on the front page.

Students who did have an opinion on the basketball coach's departure were disappointed but not entirely surprised. Some were hopeful that the new coach, when hired, can build on Hurley's success with a group of players that are mostly expected to stay.

"Unfortunately with (Hurley) leaving it takes a little bit out of it but with some of the young players coming back, and some of the young talent that we have, I feel we can start to attract some more prospects and hopefully improve on our recruiting class," said Chris Melito to WBFO.

Some looked back on the recent success of the men's basketball team and how it brought a general good feeling to the campus and to the broader local community.

"That was cool to see UB in the national news, in the headlines," said Stephanie Gianiodis. "Hopefully we can get back there, but we'll see."

Assistant coach Nate Oats has been named the interim head coach while UB's athletic department begins its search to replace Hurley, who as a player won two national championships at Duke University in 1991 and 1992. Among his teammates on those championship teams was Angola, New York native Christian Laettner.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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