Bill Hurley

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Outstanding High School Athlete & Syracuse Quarterback

The multi-sport high school athlete may appear to be blessed with equal outstanding skill in each, but talent in one particular sport will usually gain prominence. Bill Hurley of St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute dominated the local scene in baseball and football, was team MVP in hockey, and a member of the school’s championship track and field team, but achieved his greatest stardom on the gridiron.

While Hurley the baseball player was a three-year starter, team MVP and First-Team All-Catholic for the Marauders, and a two-time All-Star in AAABA and American Legion, he was all that and more in football. His career as a quarterback at St. Joe’s was punctuated by a sensational senior season in which he was honored as First-Team All-Catholic, First Team All-Western New York, First-Team All-New York State, and New World Magazine First Team-All-American. In 1975, he was the Most Valuable Player in the City/County All-Star Game and the recipient of the Billy Kelly Award honoring the top athlete in WNY . While Bill set many single-season and career records at St. Joe’s, the most significant was his 381-yard rushing total (on 17 carries) against Bishop Turner, a New York State record.

At Syracuse, Hurley continued to put up big numbers for t Orange. As a sophomore, Hurley threw for 329 yards against ninth-ranked Penn State, breaking the school record by nearly 100 yards. Bill was a four-year starter at Syracuse (as well as captain and team MVP junior and senior years), and set 23 game, season, and career records. He finished his Orange career ranked first in passing, first in total offensive yards, and third in rushing, the latter an astounding statistic at a school which counts Jim Brown, Larry Csonka, and Floyd Little among its alumni. Along the way, Hurley became just the third quarterback in modern NCAA history to rush for at least 2,000 yards and pass for at least 3,000 yards in a career.

A two-time honorable mention All-American and All-East quarterback, Bill was ECAC Offensive Player of the Year in 1979, selected for the Blue/Gray Football Classic, and was MVP of the East/West Shrine Game and Hula Bowl. He also led the Orange to an Independence Bowl championship in 1979.

Hurley spent four seasons in the NFL as a safety with the Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints, and Buffalo Bills. He later applied that experience as secondary coach at Duquesne University, and his corps of all-league defensive backs helped the school to MAAC titles in 2004 and 2005. Last spring, he coached the defensive backs for the Berlin Thunder of NFL Europe.

Tonight, Bill Hurley’s family and friends are proud to welcome another St. Joe’s and Syracuse alum to the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.