PROVIDENCE – Ed Cooley has agreed to a multi-year contract extension, which will remain at the helm of the Providence College men’s basketball program for the foreseeable future.
The town’s citizen and the monks made an official announcement on Tuesday. The talks lasted for the better part of six months, and they finally came to a conclusion.
Details of the deal were not disclosed, but Providence athletic director Steve Napolello confirmed that Colley will receive an additional position, a salary increase and a greater compensation pool for his employees. The brothers will also continue to make improvements to their own facilities, to their downtown home in the newly named Amica Insurance Pavilion and to what their program can offer players in terms of NCAA-certified name, image, and likeness opportunities.
“Not many coaches can live out the dream of coaching in their hometown, and I feel happy every day that I have this opportunity,” Cooley said in a statement. “It’s been the privilege of working with great administrators and coaching some of the best players in the country.”
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Providence graduated from the 2021-22 season banner. The brothers captured the first Big East regular season championship in the program’s history and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Championship for the first time in 25 years. Cooley was named Middle East Senior Coach and Naismith National Coach of the Year, the first man from Providence to receive any of the honors.
“It is a wonderful relationship, and all great relationships should be reciprocated,” said Napolello. “We’re really excited because that’s where he wants to be, and we want him here.”
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Cooley will enter his twelfth season with the brothers in November. His six appearances in Madness in March were the most in the program’s history, and only the COVID-19 cancellation left Providence in seventh place at the conclusion of the 2019-20 season. Cooley compiled a roster that reached 27-6 last year, and her final loss to the national champion eventually came to Kansas.
“We are very pleased and grateful for his continued commitment to PC, and this contract extension, in turn, represents our commitment to him that we will continue to support him and support the men’s basketball program to the highest degree,” Providence Reef President Kenneth R. Sicard in a statement.
Cooley’s latest extension came on the heels of his May 2019 manhunt from Michigan, which eventually turned out to be Alum Juwan Howard. The brothers were able to keep Cooley thanks to the quick work of former athletic director Bob Driscoll and Napolello, who was promoted to replace retiring Driscoll in July. It was safe to assume Cooley was signed well in 2020 – Driscoll described the agreement at the time as a lifelong contract.
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“Ed can go anywhere in the country,” Driscoll said at his retirement news conference in January. “He is the most famous man of color as a coach in the country. He can leave tomorrow. But he stays because he loves Friarttown.”
Cole’s professional stats
Cooley has clocked an overall mark of 221-141 since being set away from Fairfield, a streak that includes his 300th career win and 100th Big East win. His teams are 55-27 in number one matches over the past five years, including a 16-3 mark in 2021-22. Providence put together a new better program with 14 conference wins, and Creighton took the title in February.
“This obligation is dissatisfaction with oneself,” said Napolello. “That’s a commitment that says, ‘Listen, you saw what we did last year – let’s take it to the next level now. ”
Jay Wright’s sudden retirement from Villanova in the spring left Cooley as the longest-running coach in the conference. Greg McDermott was hired by the Bluejays for the 2010-11 season, but they did not join the league until the official 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 Cooley, you look like a coach and a national ambassador,” Napolello said. “He really is the perfect person for Providence College.
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“You take all of these factors into account – what it means to the Great East, what it means to us, what it means to the City of Providence. I feel very confident in this decade that he is well paid, feels very valued and is mutual.”
Cooley was a pioneer employee of Driscoll, the first black men’s basketball coach with the brothers. He has been a consistent advocate for men and women of color throughout the college sports scene and while serving as the coordinator of the Department of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on the Providence campus. Cooley and men’s ice hockey coach Nate Lyman have signed long-term extensions over the past six months, charting the immediate future for the brothers in their major sport.
“Coaches and student-athletes are your two most valuable bases – you have to make sure you take care of them,” Napolello said. “You keep top-tier players. My whole goal as a leader is to develop, retain and reward our best employees.”
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