Aug. 6, 2013
PROVIDENCE, RI- On Friday, August 2, Providence College men's basketball Head Coach Ed Cooley received the Stonehill College Outstanding Alumnus Award at a ceremony in North Easton, Mass. Cooley (a 1994 graduate of Stonehill) was selected as this year's recipient by the Alumni Council's awards committee for his success as a coach, and his inspiration to players both on and off the court. In the school's 65 years of existence, Cooley is the first African American to win Stonehill's Outstanding Alumnus Award.
Annually, the Outstanding Alumnus Award is given to a graduate who has contributed significantly to his professional field and has brought honor to his alma mater. Alumni Council President Catherine Campbell praised Coach Cooley for the example he sets for "young males, not just as athletes but also in the game of life."
Newly selected Stonehill College President Rev. John Denning, C.S.C. spoke highly of Cooley's efforts during his career as a basketball coach, which stems back to his early years as an assistant at Stonehill during the 1995-96 season. "In guiding your players, you always tell them to be teammates, to collaborate and to help each other. Off the court, you live by the same principle. You give back to your community and you care about others. That is why so many of your classmates, former teammates, colleagues and friends speak so fulsomely about your loyalty and compassion."
In his address, Cooley noted that he does not want coaching to define who he is as a person. "It is an extreme thrill and honor to come back to Stonehill and receive this award," Cooley said. "Being a better dad, husband, leader and mentor are all things that are very important to me."
He also gave thanks to his wife Nurys for her support and patience and for all she has done in raising their children Isaiah and Olivia. He later acknowledged those at Stonehill, who in the past, had faith in him as a student and who made him feel welcome, helping him to find the right path for becoming the man he wanted to be.
Cooley became the Friars head coach in 2011. This past season, Cooley led the Friars to the NIT Quarterfinals. Prior to coaching at Providence College, Cooley coached at Fairfield University where he won the Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Award, given to the nation's top minority men's college basketball coach. He was named the MAAC Coach of the Year and earned U.S. Basketball Writers Association District I Coach of the Year honors. In 2012, he was inducted into the Boys and Girls Club of Providence Hall of Fame.
As a player, Cooley had a standout career at Stonehill where he was a three-year captain of the basketball team.