OFFER – Ed Cooley has agreed to a multi-year contract extension for the future of the Providence College men’s basketball program.
The city’s native and wrecker made a formal announcement on Tuesday. Discussions have been going on for six months, and have finally come to a conclusion.
Details of the deal were not disclosed, but Providence athletic director Steve Napolilo confirmed that Cooley will receive more work time, a salary increase and a larger compensation pool for his staff. The Friars will also continue to make improvements to their own facility, their downtown home, the newly christened Amica Insurance Pavilion, and to their program in terms of NCAA-sanctioned name, image and logo opportunities for players.
“Not many coaches get to live the dream of coaching in their hometown, and I feel blessed every day to have this opportunity,” Cooley said in a statement. “I’ve been fortunate enough to work for great managers and coach some of the best players in the country.”
Coach Ed Cooley’s accomplishments at Providence College
Providence is coming off a banner 2021-22 season. The Friars won the first regular season Big East championship in program history and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 25 years. Cooley was named both the Big East Coach of the Year and Naismith the National Coach of the Year, the first man from Providence to claim both honors.
“It’s a very good relationship, and all good relationships should be mutually supportive,” Napolitano said. We are very happy that he is where he wants to be and we want him here.
Coach Cooley’s season For the future, that means Providence College basketball.
For Providence native Ed Cooley,An unimaginable journey to 300 career victories
Cooley will enter his 12th season with the Friars in November. His six March Madness feats are the most in program history, and only the COVID-19 cancellation denied Providence a seventh at the end of the 2019-20 season. Cooley assembled a roster that reached a 27-6 mark last year, and its final loss came to eventual national champion Kansas.
“We are excited and grateful for his continued commitment to PC, and this contract extension, in turn, demonstrates our commitment to continue to support him and the men’s basketball program at the highest level,” said Providence President Reve. Kenneth R. Sikar said in a statement.
Cooley’s last extension came in May 2019 following a search from Michigan, which ultimately led to Juwan Howard. The Fruits were able to retain Cooley thanks to the quick work of former athletic director Bob Driscoll and Napolilo, who was promoted to replace Driscoll, who retired in July. It would be nice to assume Cooley was signed well into the 2020s – Driscoll described the deal as a lifetime deal at the time.
Bill Koch:A season of the ages for Providence coach Ed Cooley and the Friars
“Ed could go anywhere in the country,” Driscoll said at his retirement press conference in January. “He’s the highest ranked person of color in coaching in the country. He may go tomorrow. But he will stay because he loves Freertown.”
Cooley’s career statistics
Cooley has posted a 221-141 overall mark since being hired away from Fairfield, a run that includes his 300th career win and 100th Big East win. The teams are 55-27 in single-digit games over the last five years, including a 16-3 mark in 2021-22. Providence set a new program best with 14 conference wins, and held off Creighton’s home hammering of the title in February.
“This commitment is not to be complacent,” Napolilo said. “It’s a commitment to say, ‘Listen, you saw what we did last year — now let’s take it to the next level.'”
Jay Wright’s retirement from Villanova in the spring leaves Cooley as the conference’s longest-tenured coach. Greg McDermott was hired by the Bluejays for the 2010-11 season, but did not rejoin the league until formal restructuring in 2013-14. Six programs in the conference have changed coaches since the end of the 2020-21 season.
“When you look at Ed Coughlin, you look at him as a coach and ambassador nationally,” Napolilo said. He is truly the perfect person for Providence College.
RIIL Hall of FameBeisel, Cooley’s 12 graduation
“They take all of those things into consideration — what it means to the Big East, what it means to us, what it means to the city of Providence. I feel confident that he’s been well compensated, he’s been valued, and it’s mutual.
Cooley is the first black men’s basketball head coach with the Friars to succeed Driscoll. He has been an equal advocate for men and women of color throughout the college sports landscape and serving as a liaison to the Providence campus Department of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Cooley and men’s ice hockey coach Nate Lehmann have both signed long-term extensions in the past six months, setting up an immediate future for the Friars in two headline sports.
“Your coaches and your student-athletes are two of your most valuable foundations — you have to make sure you take care of them,” Napolilo said. “You are keeping your A players. My goal as a leader is to develop, retain and reward our best people.
On Twitter: @BillKoch25