April 10, 2013
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Providence College President Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. and Athletics Director Bob Driscoll announced today (April 10) that men's basketball Head Coach Ed Cooley has signed a long-term contract extension. Cooley was hired at Providence College on March 22, 2011.
"Coach Cooley has demonstrated in numerous ways that he is the right coach for Providence College," Fr. Shanley said. "He is a true leader both on and off the court, and we could not be more pleased to affirm that leadership by extending his contract. I join the College community, our alumni and fans in congratulating him as we all look forward to an exciting year ahead, and to building on the momentum generated by this year's NIT team."
In two seasons with the Friars, Cooley has posted a 34-32 mark. In eight seasons as a head coach, Cooley has a 126-101 (.555) record. Prior to coming to Providence, he spent five seasons at Fairfield and amassed a 92-69 (.571) mark. This season, the Friars were picked to finish last in the BIG EAST (15th), but concluded the conference season with a 9-9 mark and entered the BIG EAST Tournament as the eighth seed. The team also was selected to participate in the NIT as a No. 4 seed. The Friars defeated Charlotte and Robert Morris, before losing to the eventual NIT Champion Baylor Bears in the Quarterfinals in Waco, Texas.
"We are excited to announce today that Ed Cooley will be our head coach for many more years," Driscoll said. "Ed, who is a native of Providence, is a perfect fit for our College, our City and our State. He has made so much progress in just two short years rebuilding our program and we are confident we will be able to compete for a league championship in the new BIG EAST. He is a winner who has proven to be successful on the court, on the recruiting trail and in life. We are thrilled that Ed will continue to lead the Friars."
The Friars overcame significant injuries to key players all season and finished with a 19-15 mark overall. With the team's wins in the NIT, it marked the first time the Friars won a post-season game since earning two wins in the 2003 NIT. The Friars also posted the most overall wins and league victories since the 2009 Friars recorded a 19-14 mark and a 10-8 record in BIG EAST play.
Two of Cooley's players earned significant honors this season as junior guard Bryce Cotton (Tucson, Ariz.) led the league in scoring (19.7 overall, 18.3 league play) and received First Team All-BIG EAST accolades. Junior forward Kadeem Batts (Powder Springs, Ga.) was named a co-recipient of BIG EAST Most Improved award. Batts averaged 14.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season.
Cooley also has raised the level of recruiting, bringing five top-100 players to Providence, including three top-50 recruits in two years.
"Providence is home for me and my family and that is a big part of what makes this a special job for me," Cooley said. "I appreciate the support from Fr. Shanley, Bob Driscoll, the students and all the Friar fans that have helped us move our program forward. We have made progress over the last two years, but we are not satisfied. We came with the goal of winning championships and that remains in our sights. We will continue to work to make Providence College basketball an elite program 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. 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.