Assistant David Cox takes over as Rhode Island head coach

Rhode Island has elevated assistant coach David Cox to replace Dan Hurley, the school announced Wednesday.

He receives a five-year contract worth $700,000 per season.

Cox had been on Hurley's staff since 2014 and recruited a majority of the players on the team -- including Jeff Dowtin and Fatts Russell -- and three players from the incoming recruiting class: Jermaine Harris, Brendan Adams and Tyrese Martin.

"David has been an integral part of building our men's basketball program to where it is today, and with his work ethic and high character, we believe he was the best person to keep us as a premiere team in the Atlantic 10 for years to come," URI president David M. Dooley said in a statement.

URI athletic director Thorr Bjorn interviewed several outside candidates earlier this week but decided that Cox was the best person to follow Hurley and keep the program -- which has been to two consecutive NCAA tournaments -- at a high level. Hurley left last month for UConn.

Before joining Hurley's staff, Cox was an assistant at Rutgers. He was also an assistant at Georgetown from 2007 to 2010 and has strong recruiting ties to the D.C. area.

"This is a dream come true," Cox said in the statement. "Navigating the landscape of coaching at the collegiate level has been a long, hard journey."