Ed Cooley Introduced As Friars Head Coach

ED COOLEY DRAWS LARGE CROWD DURING INTRODUCTION AS

HEAD MEN'S BASKETBALL COACH AT PROVIDENCE COLLEGE

Cooley era set to begin as he is officially introduced as the 15th coach in Friar basketball history.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Providence College President Reverend Brian J. Shanley, O.P. and Athletics Director Robert G. Driscoll addressed a large crowd as they joined together to introduce Ed Cooley as the Friars' 15th coach of the men's basketball program.  The press conference, which was televised live on Cox Sports and streamed live via internet at Friars.com, was held on March 23 at Alumni Hall's Mullaney Gymnasium.

The campus community came out in full force to welcome the new Friar skipper, in addition to an overwhelming number of Coach Cooley's family and friends.  Also in attendance were numerous city officials, including Angel Taveras, the Mayor of Providence and Allan Fung, the Mayor of Cranston.

Driscoll opened the press conference with some brief remarks regarding the process and also introduced President Shanley to the podium.

“The first person we talked to about getting involved [in the search process] was Michael Tranghese,”  Driscoll said.  “Father [Shanley] and I put together our list, and Michael Tranghese put together his list, and our top-five were the same, but most notably, the top candidate on each list was Ed Cooley.  We wanted someone who will be a teacher, mentor and coach.  Ed Cooley was across the top of our lists.   I wanted somebody who had built something out of nothing.  His players absolutely love him and respect him.”

“What I care about the most is what is best for our student-athletes,” Shanley said.  “I wanted a coach who would be a mentor.  I wanted a coach who is a coach in the game of life.  I know I've got a coach who can coach the game of life.  I wanted a coach who can build relationships and we've got a new mayor in town.”

Cooley was then introduced, along with his wife, Nurys, to a standing ovation, in the very gym he used to sneak into as a child to watch the Friars.  “Home means everything,”  Cooley said.   “I'm not running from Fairfield.  I'm sprinting home.”  The Cooley's two children, Olivia and Isaiah, also were in attendance for the press conference.

In an inspiring and moving selection of words, Cooley drew the biggest reaction from the crowd when he said, “Not only will we win here, we're going to win and we're going to win big.”

“We want to have the most dominant, physical team not just this year, not next year, but every year,”  Cooley continued.  “We want our off-court behavior to match our on-court behavior.  Make your free throws.  Make sure you go to class.  We play in the toughest conference in the country and we're going to be on top of it.”

At the conclusion of the press conference, Coach Cooley spent time with the large contingent of media on hand for the event.  An archived version of the press conference, additional interviews from the afternoon and a full transcript from the press conference will be posted on Friars.com as they become available.

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. In 2009-10, he led the Stags to a 23-11 mark and the team's first post-season berth since 2003. For his efforts, Cooley was the first recipient of the Ben Jobe Award, presented annually to the top minority men's basketball coach 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.