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EXCLUSIVE: Ed Cooley PC’s Top Choice

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Are you ready to drink the “Cool”-Aid Friar fans? Are you “Cool” with Ed being your new head coach?

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.



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Exclusive my ass. You have no idea what you are talking about, Scott. I find it hard to believe that the sports editor of some crappy online newspaper is privy to such information. You can't pretend you have exclusive information just because you have a hard-on for Ed Cooley; it's not cool, Scott.

Comment #1 by Kevin O'Rourke on 2011 03 13


I'm not sure what your ax to grind with me is but that's irrelevant. FYI, Cooley would NOT be my choice if I were making the pick so you have no idea what you're talking about! I happen to have a source close to the program that tells me that Cooley is their #1 choice and there is no #2 at the moment. If, for some strange reason, they cannot get a deal done with him, they will then expand their search and include multiple candidates.

You can choose to believe me or not on this one. If I'm wrong, I'll be the first to write a mea-culpa right here on the site.

However, if Cooley is hired soon, I'm sure there won't be any response from you!

Comment #2 by Scott Cordischi on 2011 03 13

Scott - great scoop....you beat out the Projo on this exclusive ....although when Driscoll mentioned wanting a "rough and tumble" type it seemed to point to Cooley especially with his RI background.....frankly I would have gone back to Craig Robinson (would he have been interested at a million a year?; would he have moved back or is he happy on the left coast?) ...don't see the Friars improving much in that loaded League...hate to say it but it might be time to move in a new direction in a new League...none of the 11 NCAA seeds are about to back-track ......so how does PC think it's going to make much of an advance in the Big East (beyond maybe DePaul and South Florida and maybe a Rutgers)? What can be the legit expectations at best for the Friars considering that the deck is stacked against them......why would an outstanding recruit end up at PC with the option to attend any of the 11 or so schools with a track record of success? there's only so much you can do to the Dunk to attract that kind of athlete....

Comment #3 by Kevin Seaman on 2011 03 14


Thanks for the feedback. I'm not sure Craig's "star" is as bright now as it was when he led Brown to an 18-win season. Oregon State had a terrific turnaround in his 1st season there but has not yet taken that next step. However, his team is young so the next 2 years will tell us much more about whether or not he can get that program to compete near the top of the Pac-10.

I must say that I will have to respectfully disagree with you on PC and whether or not they can get past any of the 11 Big East programs that made the tourney this year.

A real good coach that can recruit and coach-up his players can put this program in position to compete anywhere from 6-10 in the conference. And if you're in that area, you're in consideration for the Big Dance. The bottom line is, that you'll need a very good coach to do that.

Is Cooley that guy? We shall see.

Comment #4 by Scott Cordischi on 2011 03 15

He reminds me of a guy I knew in Utah who had to spend big bucks on prescription anti-perspirants which are not covered by Blue Cross.

If he walked up one flight of stairs, his shirt would be soaked and his glasses would be fogged up behind the lenses.

I once asked him, "Hey, P_ _ _ _, why don't you just move to Alaska?"

He never answered, but he did turn his desk away from my direction.

Comment #5 by Brent Luchmann on 2011 03 24

Has anyone heard from Kevin O'Rourke????? I didn't think so! Hey Kevin, if you're still out there, I guess this sports editor from the "crappy on-line newspaper" did have an exclusive after all.
Open mouth, insert foot!

Comment #6 by Scott Cordischi on 2011 03 26

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