On Friday, February, 22nd, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation hosted its tenth annual Aspire Gala. This is an incredible event, with some incredible people, who allow the Foundation to reach as many children as we have. At the Aspire Gala each year, the Foundation recognizes certain individuals for being such uncommon people. At this year’s Aspire Gala we recognized one of the greatest coaches and mentors of all time in Bob Hurley.
When I think about someone who absolutely epitomizes what the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation is about, Bob Hurley is always at the forefront of my mind. Bob Hurley has been the men’s basketball coach at St. Anthony’s High School, located in Jersey City, New Jersey, for over 40 years. He has recorded 1049 wins and only 110 losses. During this time, he has captured 27 State Parochial titles, four National titles (1989, 1996, 2008, 2011), and seven undefeated seasons (1974, 1989, 1996, 2004, 2008, 2011, 2012). While these accomplishments on the basketball court are nothing short of jaw-dropping, it is his work with his players off the court, in the classroom, and in life that make Bob Hurley so uncommon.
As a coach/mentor, Bob Hurley is so effective because he requires his players to be uncommon individuals. If you are going to be part of Bob Hurley’s team, you will first aim above the mark. This means to aspire to be something incredible. His players need to tear off the labels that their community/society has put on them in order to be the person they are aspiring to be.
Next, the players need to ask why. He wants his players to ask why or why not. “Why not me? Why can’t I be the best? Why can’t I get straight A’s?” He wants them to push the envelope and question what is common or normal in their community, then be uncommon.
Also, Bob Hurley asks his players to grow their team. He wants his players to surround themselves with positive people who will help them reach their goals as they aim above the mark. Bob Hurley wants his players to look beyond themselves. Wins in basketball are accomplished by teams, not individuals. In life as well, we can achieve more when we work together.
Finally, Bob Hurley requires his players to commit and follow through. To put it simply, this means to do what you said you were going to do.
As I said above, Bob Hurley’s accomplishments on the court are nothing short of amazing, but I believe winning is simply a product of something much bigger, better, and longer lasting that Bob Hurley is doing at St. Anthony’s. Bob Hurley is giving his players the formula for success both on and off the court. If his players are able to commit and follow through on what Bob Hurley has asked of them, they are going to be successful on the court and in life.
Was there a coach, teacher, or other mentor in your life who asked you to be uncommon?
How did they encourage you to aim above the mark, grow your team, ask why/why not, and commit and follow through?