Providence coach Ed Cooley has accepted an offer from Georgetown to be its next men’s head basketball coach, sources told CBS Sports.
The move is huge for Cooley, considering his status as the hometown, favored son of Providence. To leave for the Hoyas’ program in Washington, D.C., is a seismic decision for Cooley, Providence, Georgetown and the Big East.
Georgetown fired Patrick Ewing earlier this month following a disappointing six-year tenure, and sources told CBS Sports the school has been targeting Cooley for weeks. Cooley met with Georgetown brass on Sunday. Cooley met with his family on Monday morning to discuss the decision. Cooley, who grew up in Providence, has long described PC as his dream job.
“I deeply appreciate Coach Cooley’s immense contributions to the men’s basketball program and to the PC community over the past 12 years,” Providence president Rev. Kenneth R. Sicard said in a statement. “Friar fans everywhere will be forever grateful for this period of sustained excellence in our program, and I personally will continue to have the highest regard for Ed. I wish him, Nurys, and their family the best in their future.
“To our fans, let me state this without equivocation: We remain committed to competing at the highest level of men’s basketball. Our facilities, our fan support, and our record of success demonstrate the impact of that commitment and I have full confidence that we will identify and hire a new coach who will build on this strong foundation and lead Friar basketball to continued excellence on a national level.”
The move is a tectonic one in the Big East; this amounts to a coup for Georgetown, which strengthens its program and theoretically weakens its Rhode Island intra-conference brethren. Cooley coached Providence into relevance over the past decade; the school has been competitive on a near-annual basis since he arrived in 2011. Georgetown, conversely, has only made two NCAA Tournaments in the past decade.
For Georgetown, hiring Cooley is a symbolic and tangible torch-pass into a new era. Cooley coming aboard means that someone not directly affiliated with the Georgetown regime under Hall of Fame Hoyas coach John Thompson Jr. will be coaching GU for the first time since 1972. Following Thompson’s retirement in 1999, the program brought on his assistant (Craig Esherick), his son (John Thompson III) and his best former player (Ewing).
Now, a new age for Georgetown, and an unexpected major shift for Cooley, who many believed would retire at Providence.
Cooley, 53, has won 61.3% of his games over the past dozen years with the Friars, tallying 242 wins and taking PC to the NCAA Tournament seven times — the most in program history. In 2021-22, Cooley guided Providence to its first regular-season Big East title in program history.
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