Sunday, August 22, 2010

Checking In with Bob Hurley '79

Where are they now? Where are some of the members of the Purple Pride who graced Fitton Field over the years? How did they get to Worcester in the first place? What are some of the special Holy Cross Football memories they carry with them? What would they say to the current contingent of Crusaders? Answers to these questions and more will be found as we "check in" with former HC gridders.

Today let's "check in" with Bob Hurley '79.

1. What attracted you to Holy Cross in the first place?
Coming from Nashua, NH (Buzz Harvey etc.), and a Catholic High School (Bishop Guertin), there was a very strong connection with Holy Cross.  I was recruited by a lot of schools, but the visit made my decision.  I loved the "feel" of the campus; there was a very down to earth atmosphere amongst the guys, I felt almost immediately accepted...from meeting Jack Scott, Jackie Mo, big time players etc.... 
2. Most memorable moment in your Holy Cross Football career?
Of course the BC game at Fitton in 1977 my junior year.  The Las Vegas line had us -27 points.  We were 1-9 having just beat Connecticut in a game where like the rest of the season we should have scored 30+, but only managed 14.  We actually pounded BC with either just under or just over 300 yards rushing, and like 28 first downs.  Peter Colombo was possessed, he called the whole game and ran BC ragged.  We had a 12 play 80+ yard drive following their opening 2 play drive TD.  We went into the half up 21-20 feeling confident, but this was BC (they had beaten Texas and some other great teams)......  We had some spectacular turnovers which our defense and special teams forced; this time the offense capitalized each time for scores.  
In terms of the "moment", I have two: (1)  4th and goal from the 2, Stevie Hunt scores behind me where I got a nice "push" against Freddie Smerlas....Stevie and I are laughing or crying I can't remember which, on the ground IN the end zone.  (2) Our defense slapped down BC's last offensive play with about 28 seconds left, the memory I have is the offense all holding hands after running one kneel down and watching the clock and the score:  HC 35 BC 20.  We did it!
"A few more" please:  it has to be beating BC again in '78, beating Air Force (coached by Bill Parcells) on Falcon Fever Day, and going 7-4 for the season.....

3. What would you like to share with your past teammates about your Holy Cross Football experience? 
I'd like to share how much I appreciated the friendship, camaraderie, and the dedication despite some very tough years with some very tough losses.  I can honestly say, no one ever gave up.  We practiced hard every day, the adversity I felt drew us exceptionally close. No one who played us, regardless of the score, thought we ever gave up or didn't play with passion and intensity. I have only the best memories (except for the blocks I missed) of each one of my teammates over the four years, I'd love to list each one.  I had the privilege of playing with some outstanding players and first class individuals.

4. What would you say to the current Holy Cross Football team?
It is absolutely stunning how quickly your four years will go.  Treasure every single moment.  I have nothing more to add that Coach Gilmore hasn't said I'm sure, but I always prayed before every game that after the game, I could honestly say that I gave everything I had on every play.  I tried very hard to do this in practice as well.  Believe that anything is possible if everyone works together. In terms of off the field, take advantage of every opportunity the Holy Cross experience provides.  Strive to be excellent in all aspects, academically, network-network-network..., and plan even now to give back.

5. What would you like to share with the Holy Cross administration about Holy Cross Football?
I'd love to see scholarships come back. Other schools like Villanova, William and Mary, etc. do this with excellence.  Holy Cross can do this with excellence. My scholarship to Holy Cross allowed my siblings behind me to attend college.  My parents simply couldn't have afforded for me to go to college with them following so closely.  They are all now exceptionally successful professionals with wonderful families. THANK YOU Holy Cross for giving me and my family the opportunity!

6. What are you doing currently and what impact did Holy Cross Football specifically and the college at large have in bringing you to your current place in life?
I'm on a second career "adventure" having invested in a small environmental services company and serving as its CEO.  Prior, I had a couple of cups of coffee in the NFL following HC; then 28 years in corporate, 20 of which were with Sony. My goal with my new adventure was to never have to get on an airplane again as I had amassed 2+ million air miles travelling all over the I'm content to spend weekends on Squam Lake and live no more than an hour or so from Fitton Field.

Holy Cross Football taught me discipline; perseverance; performing in adverse conditions; dedication to a common goal; realizing life is NOT just about me; and no matter what the circumstances, just do the next thing to the best of your ability.

All the best,

Thank you Bob for sharing some fabulous memories, priceless perspectives, life lessons, and the spirit of Holy Cross Football.  
Chu Chu Rah Rah.....!!!


  1. Hope that you guys start to give out scholarships and join the CAA. A lot of us at W&M know that HC is a quality school and would fit in well. Join us on our board with any news regarding the HC future.

  2. Bob Hurley was a helluva football player. He went head to head w/ multi pro-bowl player, Fred Smerlas and more than held his own. He absolutely, without a doubt belongs in the HC HOF right next to Lou Kobza and Bruce Kozerski. Hopefully this glaring oversight will be corrected in the near future.