This Sunday, the CBS Newsmagazine 60 Minutes will give us a profile on one of the most successful high school basketball coaches in the country, Bob Hurley of St. Anthony’s in New Jersey. He has won 24 state championships and is known as one of the toughest coaches around. Steve Kroft will interview Hurley and give us an idea of what makes him tick.
LEGENDARY HIGH SCHOOL COACH BOB HURLEY SAYS PLAYING BASKETBALL FOR HIM “IS NOT MEANT FOR EVERYBODY” – “60 MINUTES”
Steve Kroft Profiles the Man Regarded as America’s Best High School Coach
The St. Anthony Friars are undefeated this year and were named the number-one high school basketball team in the nation — and they don’t even have their own gym. The tiny Catholic school in Jersey City, N.J., does have Coach Bob Hurley though, whose 24 state championships and 1,000-plus wins speak to his elite, rigorous program that he says just “isn’t meant for everybody.” Steve Kroft talks to the legendary high school coach who many call America’s best for a 60 MINUTES story to be broadcast Sunday, March 27 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
More than 150 of his players have gone through his strict program to win scholarships to Division One colleges, making it past 10:00 PM curfews and periodic drug testing, not to mention his drill-sergeant style of coaching. Some have rebelled against his old-school style. “Oh, yeah,” acknowledges Hurley, “That’s why I think there are hinges on doors…this is not meant for everybody,” he tells Kroft. “And every time somebody goes out the door…because they didn’t have it, the rest of them feel a little bit better about themselves and I think the group gets a little tighter.” Watch an excerpt.
Hurley makes it clear to his players what is expected of them by having them sign a contract, the breeching of which leads to discipline, suspension or worse. There are 19 rules. “[No] alcohol, cigarettes, narcotics…Some of them are…short haircuts, no tattoos…jewelry has to be basic,” says Hurley. “I’ve had people in communities say to me they think a kid may be ‘hard partying’…so because of the contract, I’ll take an entire team to a drug treatment program [and] we’ll test them.”
In 39 years of coaching the Friars varsity, only two of his players did not go on to college, and that was because they chose not to. Choosing to abide by Hurley’s contract and enduring the rigorous practices with his in-your-face style can be rough say his players, who agree with Hurley’s admission that he overdoes it sometimes. “He pretty much puts the fear in your heart,” says Kyle Anderson, a junior player. “But one thing that makes me pretty happy is when we see Mrs. Hurley come in…you realize…okay, practice is coming to an end, she’s coming to save us,” he says with a laugh.
The 63-yr.old coach has been at St. Anthony since 1968 and for him, despite all the changes in society and the game, he remains old school. “For sure. In this day and age, I’m still one of the most demanding people that the kids are going to come across,” he tells Kroft.
That does it for this post.