EXCLUSIVE: Ed Cooley PC’s Top Choice
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Whether you are or are not is irrelevant because Providence College has made Fairfield’s Ed Cooley their top and only target in their search for a new men’s basketball coach.
Athletic Director Bob Driscoll has summoned former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese to be his point man in a search for a new head coach and apparently Cooley is his top choice.
This may not be the most sexy hire that sends Friar fans running to the box office to buy season tickets for next year. But that shouldn't matter. What should matter is that PC feels that he is the right man to lead their program back to respectability.
Driscoll clearly wanted to find a hard-nosed coach, preferably with head coaching experience, who recruits tough kids that will play that way in the rough and tumble Big East Conference. Cooley’s Stags fit that description.
PC also wanted a coach with strong northeast recruiting ties, unlike Keno Davis whose ties were more in the Midwest, and Cooley fits that bill having recruited for Al Skinner at both the University of Rhode Island and Boston College.
The school also doesn’t want a long and drawn out coaching search which is why the process is being expedited.
Nothing has been signed as of yet, but Cooley is their guy. It is possible that a deal could get done in a matter of days.
Word is that if their efforts to land Cooley failed, that PC would have then broadened their search but that shouldn’t be necessary.
Ed Cooley was born and raised right here in Providence. He was named Rhode Island High School Player of the Year while playing at Central High School in the late 80’s.
Cooley played at Stonehill College from 1990-1994 before becoming an assistant coach at UMass-Dartmouth in the fall of ’94.
From there he spent a year at Stonehill as an assistant before landing at URI with Skinner from 1996-1997. Cooley then went to BC with Skinner from 1997-2006 before landing the Fairfield job in 2006.
At Fairfield, Cooley has built a program that has enjoyed tremendous success over the past two seasons in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Stags won the MAAC regular season title this year but were upset in their conference tournament by St. Peter’s. They are currently (24-7) and preparing for an expected spot in the NIT.
The 41-year old won the inaugural 2010 Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Award presented to the top minority men’s basketball coach in the nation each year.
He and his wife Nurys have two children, a son – Isaiah Malik and a daughter – Olivia Grace.