Georgetown has landed its coach. In what may be seen as a controversial move, Jack DeGioia and company have hired Ed Cooley from its fellow “Catholic 7” and BIG EAST conference-mate, the Providence Friars.
In a race that, per reports from Casual Hoya and other Georgetown basketball blogs, came down largely to Cooley and Penn State head coach Micah Shrewsberry, the Hoyas have hit on their apparent top choice for next coach of men’s basketball.
There were many reasons that some thought this day may not come, most notably Cooley’s hometown association with the Friars, and the sorry state of a rebuild our Hoyas are in right now (as I write, nearly half of our roster from last season is in the transfer portal).
In the end, though, blood runs thicker than water. With the blood, of course, being the deep connection Cooley shared with the late Georgetown-great coach, John Thompson II as well as the fact that his daughter attends Georgetown. The water being the geographic link between Cooley and Providence.
Of course, that is an oversimplification, as Georgetown at its best is seen as a definitively better job than Providence due to things like funding and the DMV recruiting bed. Frankly, Cooley had hit his ceiling at Providence. Job security can be king in this industry, and one can see how he’d turned down superior jobs before, like the University of Michigan, but where others had failed to secure Cooley, Georgetown was uniquely positioned to be the school to ultimately lure him away due to the JTII connection.
This looks to be a huge improvement in the coaching department for the future of Georgetown basketball. A program that conceivably now has NCAA tournament chances as soon as next season. A fresh breath of air, to say the least.
A rundown of Cooley’s resume:
At 53 years old, from Providence, Rhode Island, Cooley first served as a college assistant from 1986-2006 at various schools before landing the head gig at Fairfield following the 2005-06 season. From 2006-11 Cooley remained the head coach there, posting a 92-69 record (.571) including a 25-8 record and regular season conference in his final year there. After the 2010-11 season, Cooley returned home to be the head coach at his local Providence Friars.
From 2011-23 at Providence, Cooley posted a 242-153 record (.613) featuring a 118-99 (.544) BIG EAST record and a conference regular season title in the 2021-22 season.
In 12 years at the helm at Providence, Cooley led the Friars to seven NCAA tournaments (would be eight if not for the pandemic-canceled 2020 tournament), when in the 12 years before his arrival Providence made only two tournament appearances.
While it’s no secret that I view this hire as a home run, there’s lots of reasons to love this hire. He has made a massive impact in a difficult to win environment and deserves credit for it. For more in-depth thoughts on this hire, stay on the lookout for more in Voice Sports pieces in the future.
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