Right from the get-go, immediately after Providence announced that third-year coach Keno Davis would not be brought back, the name that swirled most prominently to replace Davis was Fairfield's Ed Cooley. While fans bantered possible names back and forth, the powers that be on Smith Hill had arrived at their decision and were content to wait while their heir apparent finished his season.
Once Fairfield lost to Kent State on Sunday afternoon, the mechanisms for hiring a coach sprang into action. PC had already asked for and received permission from Fairfield to speak to Cooley and Cooley had already indicated that he'd be willing to listen to offers.
On Monday, Cooley and his representatives traveled to Providence and met with PC officials and hammered out details that would secure Cooley as the Friars' coach. On Tuesday, back at Fairfield, Cooley spoke to his team, his athletic director and school president. By Tuesday afternoon, word of the deal began to leak out.
"We are very excited to have Ed Cooley coming to Providence College to coach our men's basketball team," school president Father Brian Shanley said. "I have had the opportunity to spend some time with Ed and I believe he is the right person to lead our men's basketball team. We conducted a thorough search and during that process Ed Cooley was the coach that consistently met our selection criteria."
"Ed Cooley did a great job rebuilding Fairfield into a consistently strong program," Athletic Director Bob Driscoll said. "Each season his team showed improvement and the win totals increased. Throughout this process he used hard work and dedication, and that is part of what makes him a good fit for Providence College. I saw knowledge, passion and commitment that is necessary to lead our men's basketball program."
Cooley comes to PC from Fairfield, where he spent five seasons and compiled a 92-69 mark, including a 25-8 record this season. Named MAAC Coach of the Year, Cooley built the Stags' program into one of consistent improvement and quality. In fact, Fairfield's team is fairly young and should be odds-on favorites to win the MAAC again next season.
Prior to Fairfield, Cooley spent nine years as an assistant under Al Skinner at Boston College, and the Eagles participated in five NCAA tournaments. He was also at Rhode Island for Skinner's final season there. He also had coaching stints at UMass-Dartmouth and Stonehill, his alma mater.
In many ways, this is a return home for Ed Cooley. A graduate of Central High School, where he played with former Friar Abdul Abdullah, Cooley grew up in South Providence and still has numerous family members and friends in the area.
Cooley will be formally introduced at a news conference on Wednesday, March 23 at 1:30 p.m. at the College's Mullaney Gymnasium in Alumni Hall.
Friars Name Ed Cooley As New Coach
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