By: Scott Cook

Email: SCook@abc6.com

Twitter: @JScottCook

KINGSTON, R.I. (WLNE) — It's not like the students didn't see it coming, but after back to back appearances in the NCAA tournament, many had hoped head basketball coach Dan Hurley would stick around.

“It's rough. It's real rough," said URI student Harrison Dolan.

Coach Hurley, who led the Rams for the past six seasons is out. He is now on his way to Storrs, Connecticut to take the reigns of the UConn Huskies.

"At first I was a little upset but I have confidence that we will get someone new and hopefully better because of the way we have been performing the last several years,” said Jad Elrez, student at URI.

"I felt kind of sad to be honest but to hear that he might bring his talents to UConn could be a good change for them,” added student Liam Walker. “The real challenge is finding a better coach that can surpass Dan's talents."

Hurley led the Rams to the second round of the NCAA tournament in back to back seasons, the first time that has been done in program history.

"I really hope we are still good next year. It is sad to see him go," said URI student, Samantha Pender.

Hurley also formed a special bond with his team, which had many believing he would stick around Rhode Island.

“He was a great coach and he definitely made this team a lot better,” said Harrison Dolan. “I am a little worried about what is going to happen next season with everyone leaving."

Hurley’s deal is a lucrative one. He’ll be earning $3 million per year, triple what he was making at URI.

Although disappointed, many URI students know that this is just part of the business.

“The best of luck to coach Hurley at UConn,” said Jad Elrez, “I'm sure he's going to do a great job there too."

Hurley will officially be introduced as the new head coach of the Connecticut Huskies on Friday. 

©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2018