David Cox watches a practice last summer. The associate head coach for the past two seasons will take the reins as head coach after the departure of Dan Hurley.

The University of Rhode Island has named David Cox as its new men's basketball coach. He will be formally introduced in a press conference Friday morning at the Ryan Center.

The current associate head coach will slide one seat over on the URI bench to replace Dan Hurley, who departed for Connecticut after six years in Kingston. Cox has been running day-to-day operations for the program since Hurley's exit and was among the favorites to get the full job from the beginning of the process. The move positions URI to stay on its current trajectory after back-to-back NCAA Tournament trips that Cox had a major hand in.

“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 press release from the school. "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."

Cox has been on the URI staff for the last four years after joining the program as an assistant coach in May of 2014. He was elevated to associate head coach before the 2016-17 season and has served in that role each of the last two years.

Cox is signing a five-year contract worth $700,000 per year, according to URI's official announcement.

“I have always had the drive inside of me to do more, to achieve and to excel," Cox said in the release. "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."

A native of Landover, Maryland, Cox played his college ball at William & Mary then began a coaching career in the AAU and high school ranks. In 2007, Cox made the jump to the collegiate sidelines as an assistant coach at Georgetown University. He was on the staff of the 2008 Hoyas squad that earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Cox departed Georgetown in 2010 for Rutgers University and spent four seasons there, which included a three-game stint as interim head coach in 2012.

At URI, Cox has been instrumental in the Rams' recruiting success, tapping into his Mid-Atlantic roots to sign Stanford Robinson, Jeff Dowtin and Fatts Russell. The pipeline is especially strong in URI's nationally-ranked incoming class, with Jermaine Harris, Tyrese Martin and Brendan Adams all hailing from Cox's old stomping grounds. Harris, Martin and Massachusetts native Dana Tate all tweeted their support this week for Cox to take over.

Cox will become the 20th head coach in URI history.

“This is a dream come true. Navigating the landscape of coaching at the collegiate level has been a long, hard journey," Cox said. "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 building this program to where it is now. I am extremely excited, blessed and humbled to be able to lead this program to new heights."

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