The University of Rhode Island men's basketball team promoted from within to replace Dan Hurley, officially hiring David Cox as its new head coach on Wednesday.
The school announced a press conference for 11 a.m. on Friday to introduce Cox, who'll become the 20th head coach in program history.
Cox spent the last four seasons as the associate head coach under Hurley, who was hired by the University of Connecticut on March 22 to the same position. Cox's contract is for five years and worth $700,000 annually.
"This is an important transition period for our basketball program, and we did our due diligence to make sure we hired the right person for the job," Rhode Island Director of Athletics Thorr Bjorn said in a release. "David's professionalism and leadership ability earned him the position. I am thrilled to continue to build the Rhode Island basketball brand by partnering with a wonderful coach, mentor and teacher."
The Rams have qualified for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in each of the last two seasons under Hurey, snapping an 18-year drought with the first appearance. URI won the Atlantic-10 Conference tournament title in 2017 and the league's regular season title in 2018 and won a single game in the tournament each season before bowing out in the round of 32.
"This is a dream come true. Navigating the landscape of coaching at the collegiate level has been a long, hard journey," Cox said in a press release. "I was blessed to have made it here four years ago, and to have had the opportunity to work with people like President [David] Dooley and Thorr Bjorn, while biulding this program to where it is now. I am extremely excited, blessed and humbled to be able to lead this program to new heights."
Prior to joining Hurley's staff in May 2014, Cox was the associate head coach at Rutgers. He's also spent time as an assistant at Georgetown and Pittsbrugh at the collegiate level, making him well-versed in recruiting the northeast.
Cox is seen as the main reason URI was able to land Indiana transfer Stanford Robinson, as well as current members of the team, such as guards Jeff Dowtin and Fatts Russell and center Michael Tertsea. Cox was also the primary recruiter for the vaunted incoming class of freshmen for the Rams, including Jermaine Harris, Brendan Adams and Tyrese Martin.
Recruiting site 247sports.com ranks URI's incoming class as No. 30 in the country and tops in the A-10.
"I have always had the drive inside of me to do more, to achieve and to excel," Cox said. "Nothing will change that mindset moving forward. We have won Atlantic 10 championships and NCAA tournament games in the last two years. That is now the bar. Moving forward, our goal is to repeat as A-10 champions, get back to the NCAA tournament and make an even deeper run. Year after year, we are going to recruit at the highest level possible and continue to attract top-100 players, high-major players and players with high character who fit our culture."