Friars Coach Ed Cooley a Finalist for National Coach of the Year

PC news release…

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – It was announced on Wednesday, March 19 that Providence College Head Coach Ed Cooley was named one of 15 finalists for the 2014 Jim Phelan Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top Division I men's basketball coach.  The award is named in honor of Jim Phelan who coached his entire career at Mount Saint Mary's University. He led the Mountaineers to the 1962 NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Championship.




The other finalists for the award are: Steve Alford (UCLA), Rick Barnes (Texas), John Beilein (Michigan), Tony Bennett (Virginia), Billy Donovan (Florida), Steve Fisher (San Diego State), Danny Manning (Tulsa), Gregg Marshall (Wichita State), Sean Miller (Arizona), Greg McDermott (Creighton), Tim Miles (Nebraska), Craig Neal (New Mexico), Brad Underwood (Stephen F. Austin), and Jay Wright (Villanova).




The winner of the 2014 Phelan award will be announced at the Awards Banquet on April 4 in Dallas, site of the Division I Men's Basketball Championship.




In 2013-14, Cooley led the Friars to team's second BIG EAST Tournament title and first since 1994.  He also guided the team to a 23-12 mark and the Friars' first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2004.  The 23 wins are the most by a Friar squad since the 1997 team finished with a 24-12 record. Providence finished the BIG EAST season with a 10-8 mark and placed fourth in conference standings.  




In three seasons with the Friars, Cooley has posted a 57-44 mark.  In eight seasons as a head coach, Cooley has a 149-113 (.569) record.  Prior to coming to Providence, he spent five seasons at Fairfield and amassed a 92-69 (.571) mark.  This season marked the second consecutive year that Cooley brought the Friars to the post season as he led the team to a a 19-15 mark overall and a 9-9 record in the BIG EAST in 2012-13.  Last season, the team earned two wins in the NIT before losing in the NIT Quarterfinals to the eventual NIT Champion Baylor Bears in the Quarterfinals in Waco, Texas. 




His 2014 squad was led by senior Bryce Cotton (Tucson, Ariz.).  Cotton had an amazing senior season in which he led the BIG EAST in assists (5.8) and he finished second in scoring (21.8).  He also led the nation in minutes played (39.9).  He earned BIG EAST Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors and garnered his second consecutive First Team All-BIG EAST accolade.  He finished his career ranked fourth overall in scoring at Providence with 1,975 points.  His teammate, senior Kadeem Batts (Boston, Mass.) also was recognized for his stellar play as he was named All-BIG EAST Second Team.  




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.