June 17, 2019…WELLAND - Long-time Niagara College Knights staff member Mike Hurley has been named the Ontario Basketball Association's (OBA) Coach of the Year for 2019.
Hurley's name has become synonymous with basketball around the Niagara region, having been a dedicated coach for over 25 years at a variety of different levels. Born and raised in Fonthill, Hurley continues to reside in the area while spending the last decade coaching at numerous levels for the Pelham Panthers club.
Hurley's roots to the college run deep; after being one the most highly sought after recruits in the province from E.L Crossley High School, Hurley spent three years (1994-1997) with the Niagara Knights men's basketball program before finishing his last two years of eligibility at Brock University. During his time with the Knights, Hurley was one of the most dominating players in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA). In 1994 - 95, Mike was named Niagara's Male Freshman Athlete of the Year, twice named team MVP, captained the team in all three years, received the Athlete of Distinction award 1996-97, named to the OCAA Western Region All-Star Team, 1st and 2nd team League All Star in 1995- 96, 1996 - 97. On February 17, 1995 Mike set an OCAA individual record when he sunk nine three-point field goals in a 102-78 win. His nine treys also contributed to the OCAA team record for three pointers in one game of 16. Hurley also spent 12 years coaching at the collegiate level in a variety of capacities for the Knights, most recently as the men's head coach up to 2018.
Having spent the last 16 years at the college as the Facilities Coordinator, Hurley was also inducted in the Knights Hall of Fame in the athlete category in 2003. Aside from his personal athletic accomplishments at Niagara, Hurley also met his wife, Andrea, while both were playing basketball for the Knights.
Associate Director of Athletics and Recreation, Michele O'Keefe, describes Hurley's dedication to the development as second to none.
"This is a great honour for Mike Hurley – a true testament to his commitment to basketball development" says O'Keefe. "Mike is being recognized as one of two coaches of the year out of 2,800 basketball coaches in Ontario. The Pelham Panthers, the Niagara Peninsula and Niagara College is fortunate to have someone so devoted to our young athletes."
Hurley has given back to the Niagara basketball community in many ways, such as delivering camps and clinics, to creating youth development programs; such as a grassroots girls only program, a youth basketball development program, a spring league program, a Niagara Selects Summer Training Program and a Shooting School. Mike has also hosted countless tournaments, including, his annual 3 on 3 tournament that has been running for 25 years. The tournament's success has grown in recent years typically drawing over 100 teams to participate from across the province and upstate New York.