Brian Hurlock recently completed his 30th year running a basketball camp in Farmington - Hurlock's Basketball Camp, spanning two weeks at 37 campers per week - but his passion for sharing his knowledge of the game extends much further. Brian has coached at several high school programs throughout the state over a 40-year period and prides himself in seeing the teams' vast improvements. At Terryville High School, for example, the team was 1-19 in his first season, 1988, then went 12-10 the following year.
"I love the game so much, love teaching the fundamentals," Brian said. "The during-game adjustments. The kids. Teaching them the game and respect for officials."
He said in a recent article in the Valley Press: "My camp is really about details. I want them to learn about the game as much as I have in my brain. ... (In the beginning), I was the only camp. I'd have 60-something kids. We'd use both gyms and be out in the parking lot."
Brian, a Unionville resident who has also officiated basketball and softball and formerly coached with the Connecticut Starters AAU program, got his start in coaching softball at Lewis Mills High School in 1980 as an assistant under head coach Eileen Crompton and volleyball at Mills under Linda Hamm. He credits both women for fostering his interest in coaching.
He has since led five different high school girls' basketball teams to state tournament berths, Terryville, Bloomfield, Brookfield, East Windsor and Wolcott Tech, including a team at Wolcott Tech which once went a span of 265 games without winning a single game. Brian took Wolcott Tech to a Class S state tournament berth in 2012 - "They've probably had it the hardest of any team I've taken over," he told the Hartford Courant that season. "They started to believe and they believe in each other."
Among other coaching highlights, Brian coached UConn and WNBA great Nykesha Sales in her junior and senior seasons at Bloomfield. He coached softball at Farmington, Wolcott Tech and Brookfield, where he was an assistant under head coach and now Connecticut Scholastic and Collegiate Softball Hall of Famer Cyndie Adamski. He was named national assistant coach of the year in 2001 and later co-coached with Adamski, who will serve as his presenter today as he's inducted into the Connecticut Women's Basketball Hall of Fame for the breadth of his contributions to the game - "She believed in me then and now," Brian said of Adamski.
Brian is a 1980 graduate of Farmington High School, where he recalls being the last one off the bench for the basketball team. He is a cook at George's Pizza in Unionville and has been involved with the Relay for Life for the last nine years. Brian lost his mother, Anneliese, in 1979 when he was just 17 and in her memory feels that "whatever I do, I always give it my best."
"I felt like (basketball) was my calling. It kept me busy," said Brian, before giving his advice for the game's future participants. "Young coaches, make it fun. Refs, it's not about us."