Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Former Fairfield coach Ed Cooley was officially named the new coach at Providence on Tuesday.
A press conference will be held Wednesday at 1:30 at the College’s Mullaney Gymnasium in Alumni Hall.
A Providence native, Cooley guided Fairfield to a school-record 25 wins and a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season title this past season. He was named the 2011 MAAC Coach of the Year. He also earned United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) District I Coach of the Year honors. His 2011 squad finished the season with a 25-8 mark (15-3 MAAC) and advanced to the second round of the NIT.
“We are very excited to have Ed Cooley coming to Providence College to coach our men’s basketball team,” Providence president Reverend Father Brian Shanley said. “I have had the opportunity to spend some time with Ed and I believe he is the right person to lead our men’s basketball team. We conducted a thorough search and during that process Ed Cooley was the coach that consistently met our selection criteria.”
In five seasons at Fairfield, Cooley’s teams posted a 92-69 mark, including a 58-32 record in the MAAC. 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.
“Ed Cooley did a great job rebuilding Fairfield into a consistently strong program,” Providence AD Bob Driscoll said. “Each season his team showed improvement and the win totals increased. Throughout this process he used hard work and dedication, and that is part of what makes him a good fit for Providence College. I saw knowledge, passion and commitment that is necessary to lead our men’s basketball program.”
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.
Keno Davis was fired at Providence after three season with the Friars. They finished 15-17 this season.
Possible names at Fairfield are Marquette assistant Aki Collins, a former Cooley assistant; UConn assistant Andre LaFleur; former St. John’s coach and SNY analyst Norm Roberts; Vermont coach Mike Lonergan; and Princeton coach Sydney Johnson.
**At Monmouth, Christian Brothers Academy coach Geoff Billet, Monmouth assistant Kevin Murphy, St. Patrick coach Kevin Boyle, former Seton Hall and current Bowling Green coach Louis Orr, Notre Dame assistant Martin Ingelsby, William Paterson coach Jose Rebimbas and Vanderbilt assistant King Rice have interviewed, according to sources. Temple assistant Dave Duke is also due to interview.
One theory is that if St. Peter’s coach John Dunne were to leave that school for Manhattan or Monmouth, Boyle could step into the St. Peter’s job. LIU coach Jim Ferry, who took his team to the Big Dance, is also linked to Manhattan.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.