Georgetown hires Ed Cooley away from PC as next coach
Washington — Georgetown has hired Ed Cooley to replace Patrick Ewing as its next men's basketball coach, the school announced Monday.
Cooley comes to the Hilltop after 12 seasons at the helm of Providence. The Friars went 242-153 under Cooley, as the program went to the NCAA tournament seven times during his tenure. They advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2022.
"Sometimes in life change is needed for emotional stability, for wellness," Cooley said in an interview with WPRI TV (Providence) on Sunday. "Just because you're at a place doesn't mean everything's forever. Providence has always been my dream job, and I'll continue to say that.
"Sometimes circumstance changes and it has nothing to do with administrators, it has nothing to do with athletic directors, it has all to do with me and my wife feel is something we may possibly need."
Georgetown parted ways with Ewing after six seasons and a 75-109 record. The Hoyas went 7-25 this season and just 2-18 in the Big East before a 32-point loss to Villanova in the first round of the Big East tournament. They also endured a Big East record 29-game conference losing streak that spanned two seasons.
Georgetown made the NCAA tournament just once under Ewing, after the Hoyas made a surprise run to win the 2021 Big East tournament. The last time Georgetown advanced to the Big Dance, besides 2021, was in 2015 with John Thompson III as coach.
Cooley is the first coach hired at Georgetown with no ties to Hall of Fame Coach John Thompson since his retirement in 1999. This will be his third head coaching position after leading Fairfield between 2006-2011. His career record overall record is 334-222.
Cooley was named the Naismith Coach of the Year and Big East Coach of the Year in 2022 as the Friars won the conference and finished ranked No. 13 in the AP poll. Providence went into this year's tournament as a No. 11 seed and lost to No. 6 seed Kentucky, 61-53, in the first round.
"Everybody associates change with money or finance," Cooley said in the WPRI interview. "That, to me, is just very narrow-minded. My wife and I have been very blessed. With our children, first and foremost, and with each other. You can't buy someone's happiness. And you can't buy someone's fulfillment."
The hope is that Cooley can restore the Georgetown brand to prominence after being a national power for two decades. Thompson won the national championship in 1984, with Ewing as his star, and reached the Final Four in 1982 and 1985. The Hoyas returned to the Final Four in 2007 under John Thompson III.
Georgetown athletic director Lee Reed said the university would conduct a national search for the next head coach, but it didn't have to look further than its own conference. Cooley is a 1994 graduate of Stonehill College, where he was a three-time captain of the basketball team.
"We've have lived in our area for 50-plus years," Cooley told WPRI. "... Sometimes you just have to look at things for where you're trying to go in your future. Everybody's looking at the present and you do not sit in our shoes. You do not live the life that we live.
"At some point you have to look at where you're trying to go for your own fulfillment that doesn't have anything to do with winning or losing and has nothing to do with staying home. It has to do with, hey, how are we feeling and how are we moving forward?"