On March 22, 2011, Ed Cooley became the 15th head coach at Providence College. He came to Providence College after spending five seasons as the head coach at Fairfield University.
"When Bob and I sat down with Mike Tranghese and we talked about what we were looking for in our next coach, we quickly agreed that the No. 1 candidate for Providence College is Ed Cooley," Providence College President Fr. Brian Shanley, O.P. said. "I wanted a coach that could teach our players about the game of life. I also wanted a relationship builder and Ed is a relationship builder. He will connect with our players, our fans and the entire state of Rhode Island. I could not be more thrilled to have Ed Cooley as our basketball coach."
In eight seasons as a head coach, Cooley has posted an impressive 149-113 mark (.569). Most importantly, he guided the Friars to the 2014 BIG EAST Tournament title and their 16th appearance in the NCAA Tournament (2014).
In each of Cooley's eight seasons as a head coach his team's has shown improvement, which is a tribute to his ability to recruit and build a program. His 2014 team was picked to finish sixth in the Preseason BIG EAST Coaches Poll, but overcame losses of personel during the season to finish 10-8 and fourth overall. The Friars went on a run in the league tournament, posting three straight wins, including a thrilling 65-58 victory over No. 14 Creighton in title game. With the win, the Friars earned the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament and made their first trip to the Tournament since 2004.
His 2014 squad was led by senior All-American Bryce Cotton (Tucson, Ariz.). Cotton had an amazing senior season in which he led the BIG EAST in assists (5.8) and finished second in scoring (21.8). He also led the nation in minutes played (39.9). He earned BIG EAST Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors and garnered his second consecutive First Team All-BIG EAST accolade. He finished his career ranked fourth overall in scoring at Providence with 1,975 points. His teammate, senior Kadeem Batts (Boston, Mass.) also was recognized for his stellar play as he was named All-BIG EAST Second Team.
It did not take long for Cooley to turn the Friar fortunes around. In his second season, he led the Friars to a 19-15 record overall and a 9-9 mark in league play. Included in the 9-9 BIG EAST record in 2012-13 was a 7-2 mark over the last nine games of the conference season. That impressive record marked the second best turnaround over second half of the season in BIG EAST history. He then guided the Friars to the NIT where the squad posted a 2-0 record before losing in the quarterfinals to eventual NIT Champion Baylor.
Leading the way for the Friars in the 2012-13 season were Cotton and Batts. Cotton was named All-BIG EAST First Team after he led the league in scoring. His teammate, Batts was recognized as a co-winner of the league's Most Improved Award and earned All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention accolades.
In his first season at Providence, Cooley led the Friars to a 15-17 mark overall. The team posted an impressive 11-3 mark in non-conference action, which included an 8-0 record at home. In league action, the Friars defeated No. 14/15 Louisville, 90-59. The 31-point win marked the Friars' largest margin of victory ever over a ranked team. The squad also posted a 72-70 win over defending national champion Connecticut.
Two of Cooley's players earned BIG EAST honors in his first season. Point guard Vincent Council was named All-BIG EAST Third Team and one of his first recruits, forward LaDontae Henton earned BIG EAST All-Rookie Team accolades.
Prior to coming to Providence, Cooley guided Fairfield to a school-record 25 wins and a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season title in 2010-11. He was named the 2011 MAAC Coach of the Year. He also earned United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) District I Coach of the Year honors. His 2011 squad finished the season with a 25-8 mark (15-3 MAAC) and advanced to the second round of the NIT.
In five seasons at Fairfield, Cooley's teams posted a 92-69 mark, including a 58-32 record in MAAC action. Cooley became the first Fairfield head coach to guide the team to a .500 or better mark in MAAC action in each of his first five seasons. In 2009-10, he led the Stags to a 23-11 mark and the team's first post-season berth since 2003. In that win, Fairfield set a NCAA Division I post-season record as the team overcame a 27-point, second-half deficit to defeat George Mason in overtime. For his efforts in 2010, Cooley was the first recipient of the Ben Jobe Award, presented annually to the top minority men's basketball coach in the nation. Prior to taking the Fairfield position,
Cooley spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach for Al Skinner. He coached for one season at Rhode Island under Skinner (1996-97) and nine seasons as an assistant at Boston College (1997-06), where the Eagles posted a 175-108 mark and advanced to five NCAA Tournaments and one NIT. Cooley also helped lead the Eagles to the 2001 BIG EAST Tournament title and three BIG EAST regular season titles (2001, 2003 and 2005). In 2004-05, Boston College started the season with a school-record 20 consecutive wins. In 2005-06, the Eagles advanced to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game against Duke. At BC, Cooley was instrumental in the recruitment of Troy Bell, a two-time BIG EAST Player of the Year. Bell also went on to play professional basketball after leaving Boston College, which included a stint in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies.
A 1994 graduate of Stonehill College, where he was a three-time captain for the basketball team, Cooley began his coaching career at UMass-Dartmouth. He helped lead UMass-Dartmouth to a 25-4 mark and a No. 3 national ranking (1994-95). He returned to his alma mater, Stonehill, and served as an assistant coach for one season (1995-96) before joining Skinner's staff at URI. Cooley, a native of Providence, attended Central High School and earned two Rhode Island High School Player of the Year honors. He also did a post-graduate year (1988-89) at New Hampton Prep. before attending Stonehill. He and his wife, Nurys, have one daughter, Olivia, and one son, Isaiah.
BIRTHDATE: September 10, 1969
FAMILY: Wife, Nurys; Daughter,Olivia; Son, Isaiah
HIGH SCHOOL: Central High School (R.I.) '88; New Hampton Prep. (N.H.) '89
COLLEGE: Stonehill '94, Major - History
2011 - Head Coach, Providence College
2006-11 Head Coach, Fairfield University
1997-06 Assistant Coach, Boston College
1996-97 Assistant Coach, Rhode Island
1995-96 Assistant Coach, Stonehill College
1994-95 Assistant Coach, UMass-Dartmouth
Third Year at PC: 23-12/10-8
Second Year at PC: 19-15/9-9
First Year at PC: 15-17/4-14
Overall at PC: 57-44
Overall at Fairfield: 92-69
8-Year CAREER: 149-113
BIG EAST TOURNAMENT: 3-2
BIG EAST LEAGUE GAMES: 23-31
NON-LEAGUE GAMES AT PC: 33-12
NCAA TOURNAMENT: 0-1 (2014)
NIT: 4-3 (2011, 2013)
2013-14 (23-12/10-8)... Team posted a 23-12 mark and earned most wins since 1997...Captured its second BIG EAST Tournament title and first since 1994...Advanced to the NCAA Tourney for 16th time overall and first since 2004 before being losing to No. 6 seed North Carolina, 79-77...Posted a 10-8 mark in BIG EAST play and finished fourth...Most wins in BIG EAST since 2009.
2012-13 (19-15/9-9)... Team recorded a 19-15 record overall and a 9-9 mark in BIG EAST play...Team posted a 7-2 mark in the last nine league games, which was the second best turnaround over the second half of the season in conference history...The team posted a 2-1 mark in the NIT and advanced to the quarterfinals before being eliminated by eventual NIT Champion Baylor... Team earned its first post season win since 2003.
2011-12 (15-17/4-14)...Team recorded an 11-3 record in non-conference action, including an 8-0 mark at home...Squad defeated No. 14/15 Louisville, 90-59, which marked the team's largest margin of victory ever over a ranked squad.
2010-11 (25-8/15-3)...Team posted a school-record 25 wins overall and a record 15 victories in conference action...Captured the MAAC regular season title...Advanced to the NIT and posted a 1-1 mark...Named MAAC Coach of the Year...Earned USBWA District 1 Coach of the Year.
2009-10 (23-11/13-5)...Team's 23 wins were second highest in program's history...Became the first Fairfield coach to post a .500 or better record in MAAC action in each of his first four seasons...Team's 13 MAAC wins tied for tops all-time at Fairfield...Led the Stags to their first post-season win in more than 30 years...Team set an NCAA Div. 1 post-season record when it overcame a 27-point second half deficit to defeat George Mason in OT...Earned the Ben Jobe Award as the top minority men's basketball coach in the nation.
2008-09 (17-15/9-9)...Led the Stags to their first winning record since 2004...Team also finished tied for fourth in league play.
2007-08 (14-16/11-7)...Led the Stags to an 11-7 mark in MAAC action and a fifth-place finish...It marked the team's second straight winning record in conference action...Team posted a seven-game winning streak, the longest in 20 years (1986-87).
2006-07 (13-19/10-8)...Led the Stags to a 10-8 mark in MAAC action and a fifth-place finish in his first season as a head coach.
2014 - Rhode Island Coach of the Year
2011 - Metro Atlantic Athletic Conf. Coach of the Year
2011 - U.S. Basketball Writers District 1 Coach of the Year
2010 - Ben Jobe Award, National Coach of the Year.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT ED COOLEY:
"I love him. He was so classy when he was going to leave Fairfield. He called my wife and me and wanted to explain. I told him there was no explanation needed. This is a great place for him. He did a home visit with us and he's just a good guy. That's going to be a strong suit for him. I think he'll do a terrific job. He's going to be able to recruit, which is so important, and he knows the type of player he needs to win."
---Doc Rivers, Los Angeles Clippers Head Coach
"Ed Cooley has an infectious personality, a driving spirit to work hard and win, and is one of the warmest people you'll meet. You can scour the country and find plenty of hometown success stories of coaches coming back to their alma maters or places where they grew up. But there will be few that can match the authenticity of Cooley and Providence."
--- Andy Katz, ESPN.com Senior College Basketball Writer
"There's a difference between working hard and being good at your job. Ed Cooley is good at his job and that's what sets him apart. He is considered to be an outstanding coach by his peers. He knows what it means to go out and evaluate student-athletes."
--- Dave Telep, ESPN.com Senior Basketball Recruiting Analyst
"Ed Cooley has invigorated an entire city with his enthusiasm and his infectious personality has paid immediate dividends. There is a palpable buzz throughout the Northeast surrounding the Providence program and it started the day Cooley had his inaugural press conference. A Providence native, the boisterous head coach is constantly juggling recruiting calls, speaking engagements, and anything else it will take to make his hometown school one of the elite programs in the BIG EAST. It's all part of a daily grind that Cooley wouldn't trade for anything."
---Jon Rothstein, CBS Sports Network
"Some coaches just take jobs in college basketball, while some are made for their jobs. Ed Cooley is made for Friartown. He knows the state, he loves the city and he's succeeded in New England recruiting his entire career. This is his dream job and he's never thought about another one. When you talk to other head coaches in the BIG EAST, the underlying theme about him remains the same -- the guy was born to coach at Providence."
--- Vin Parise, NBC Sports Network & Cox Sports Television
COOLEY VS. OPPONENTS (149-113, .569)
Team W L
American (AH) 3 1
Army 2 0
Austin Peay 1 0
Baylor 0 1
Boston College 2 2
Brown 2 1
Bryant 2 0
Butler 2 0
Canisius 10 1
Cen. Arkansas 1 0
Central Connn 1 0
Charlotte 1 0
Chattanooga 1 0
Cincinnati 1 3
Colgate 1 0
Colorado State 1 0
Connecticut 1 4
Creighton 2 2
DePaul 3 1
Drexel 2 0
Fairfield 3 0
Fairleigh Dick. 1 0
Florida A&M 1 0
Fordham 2 1
George Mason 1 0
Georgetown 1 6
Hofstra 0 2
Holy Cross 5 2
Howard 2 0
Iona 6 4
Iowa State 0 1
Kent State 0 1
Kentucky 0 1
La Salle 1 0
Loyola 8 4
Loyola-Chicago 0 1
Louisville 1 1
Maine 1 0
Manhattan 8 3
Marist 8 4
Marquette 1 3
Massachusetts 0 2
Maryland 0 2
Memphis 0 1
Mississippi 0 1
Mississippi St. 1 0
Missouri 0 1
New Hampshire 1 0
Niagara 6 5
Norfolk State 1 0
Northern Iowa 0 1
North Carolina 0 1
Notre Dame 1 1
NJIT 1 0
Penn State 0 2
Pittsburgh 0 2
Providence 0 1
Rhode Island 3 1
Rider 3 7
Robert Morris 1 0
Rutgers 2 1
Sacred Heart 4 0
Saint Joseph's 0 3
Saint Peter's 10 1
Savannah State 1 0
Seton Hall 4 3
Siena 4 8
South Carolina 1 0
Southern 1 0
St. Francis NY 2 1
St. John's 3 2
Syracuse 0 4
UNC Asheville 1 0
USF 1 2
Vanderbilt 1 0
Vermont 2 1
Villanova 2 3
Virginia Tech 0 1
Wake Forest 0 1
West Virginia 0 1
William & Mary 1 1
Xavier 1 1
Yale 1 1
Total 149 113
ED COOLEY COACHING RECORD
YEAR SCHOOL RECORD PCT CONF. REC. FINISH TOUR. POST SEASON
2006-07 Fairfield 13-19 .406 10-8 (.556) 5th-Tied 0-1
2007-08 Fairfield 14-16 .467 11-7 (.611) 5th-Tied 0-1
2008-09 Fairfield 17-15 .531 9-9 (.500) 4th-Tied 1-1
2009-10 Fairfield 23-11 .676 13-5 (.722) 2nd 2-1 CIT 1-1
2010-11 Fairfield 25-8 .758 15-3 (.833) 1st 1-1 NIT 1-1
2011-12 Providence 15-17 .469 4-14 (.222) 15th 0-1
2012-13 Providence 19-15 .559 9-9 (.500) 8th-Tied 0-1 NIT 2-1
2013-14 Providence 23-12 .657 10-8 (.556) 4th 3-0 - Champs. NCAA 0-1
Career 8 years 149-113 .569 81-63 (.563) One Title 7-7 One Title 4-4