PROVIDENCE, R.I. - It was announced yesterday (March 22) that Providence College men’s basketball Head Coach Ed Cooley was named NABC District 5 Coach of the Year. It marks the first time Cooley has earned NABC District Coach of Year honors.
In six seasons at Providence College, Cooley has posted a 123-80 mark (.606). In 11 seasons as a head coach, Cooley has a 215-149 (.591) record. When Cooley was hired in 2011, the Friars had finished under .500 in six of the 10 previous seasons and had been to just one NCAA Tournament (2004) in that 10-year span. Since his hiring, Cooley has led the Friars to five consecutive post-season tournament berths, including a school-record four straight NCAA Tournament appearances (2014-17), and he guided the team to 2014 BIG EAST title.
The 2016-17 season proved to be another successful season for the Friars under Cooley. The team was picked ninth in the Preseason BIG EAST Coaches’ Poll after losing stars Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil to the NBA Draft. However, the Friars finished the year with a 10-8 mark in league play and in third place in the conference standings. To achieve that mark, the team overcame a 4-8 record in early February and won its final six BIG EAST Conference games to earn the third place finish. The Friars also posted a 20-13 record overall and earned an at-large berth to the squad’s fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament. It marked the first time ever the Friars had advanced to four straight NCAA Tournaments. The Friars also registered four consecutive seasons with 20 or more wins for the first time since 1975-78.
Juniors Kyron Cartwright and Rodney Bullock were named 2017 Second Team All-BIG EAST. In addition, Cartwright became the third player in six seasons under Cooley to earn BIG EAST Most Improved accolades.
During his time at Providence, Cooley has coached five All-Americans. He also has had players earn two BIG EAST Player of Year honors, two BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year accolades, three BIG EAST Most Improved Player awards, one BIG EAST Tournament MVP, three BIG EAST All-Tournament Team accolades, and nine All-BIG EAST honors.
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.
Prior to his stint at Fairfield, 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. Cooley also helped lead the Eagles to the 2001 BIG EAST Tournament title and three BIG EAST regular season titles (2001, 2003 and 2005).
A 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 before attending Stonehill. He and his wife, Nurys, have one daughter, Olivia, and one son, Isaiah.
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