Could Lawrence Frank be the next basketball coach at Rutgers? (Ron Hoskins/Getty Images)
The Detroit Pistons and the University of Rhode Island have about one thing in common at the moment. One of them might lose their head coach to replace the recently vacated position at Rutgers University.
Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank, and Dan Hurley, coach of the URI Rams, are reportedly two of the candidates being considered to replace Mike Rice, who was fired this week amid footage that surfaced of him physically and verbally abusing his players during practice on multiple occasions.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski and Pat Forde, Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti has Hurley as No. 1 on his list, but is also interested in Frank, who Pernetti reportedly tried to hire four years ago before ultimately deciding on Rice.
Hurley, the son of Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley, and brother to Bobby, the former Duke standout now a coach at University of Buffalo, is in his second year at URI. He had previously taken over Wagner's troubled basketball program and led them to 25 wins in only his second season with the team.
Frank, meanwhile, is no stranger to New Jersey. He coached the then-New Jersey Nets in 2004 for more than five years. His wife lives in New Jersey and Frank took six games off from the Pistons this season to be with her and his two children because she has been battling an unreported illness. He also has experience at the collegiate level, having been an assistant coach with Marquette and Tennessee.
But Frank dismissed the rumors in a Detroit Free Press report, saying he is "very happy" as coach of the Pistons (25-51), and hasn't heard from Rutgers:
"I'm the coach of the Pistons. I haven't heard from anyone. [L]ike I told you, I'm very happy as the coach of the Pistons. I haven't been contacted by anyone and there's nothing more to say."