Coach Cooley to Lead Team USA

by The Cowl Editor on January 17, 2019

Friar Sports

Team Will Consist of Players From Big East

By Sullivan Burgess ’20

Sports Staff

It has been quite an exciting few weeks for Providence College Men’s Basketball Head Coach Ed Cooley. Not only has he been gifted with one of the highest honors in the state of Rhode Island, but also has been given an incredible opportunity for himself and PC basketball.

ed cooley providence college team usa basketballl
Photo Courtesy of WPRI.COM

On December 18, 2018, media and faculty gathered inside the Ruane Friar Development Center to announce that Coach Cooley will be the head coach for Team USA and lead the men’s basketball team at the Pan American Games in Peru this summer. The team itself will consist entirely of players from the Big East Conference.

While this is Cooley’s first time as head coach for Team USA, this is not his first time working with the United States Basketball Team. In the summers of 2013-2015, Cooley served as an assistant coach for the USA Basketball teams. He had won gold at the World Under-19 Championships in 2015.

Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman stated at the press conference, “I think in many ways this is a tribute to what the Big East has accomplished over the last five years. They were looking for a conference with a solid basketball resume. We see this as a great responsibility as well as a great honor.” The U.S. has not represented themselves in the Pan-Am Games in quite a while, in fact the U.S. has not won gold in basketball since 1983. That team consisted of future hall-of-famers Michael Jordan and Chris Mullin.

This year U.S. Basketball decided not to allow professional players of any sort to represent the USA. The team will consist of college players in the Big East. College players who plan to enter into the NBA draft this June are also excluded from participating.

Coach Cooley did not hesitate to take the job as head coach for the team. He stated at the press conference, “I’ve been fortunate to be an assistant coach with Billy Donovan and Sean Miller on a couple of teams but to try to do it as a head coach is an incredible honor and something I’ve always wanted to do.”

A few weeks later, it was announced that named Ed Cooley as their Rhode Island Man of the Year. When giving the award to him, the website had stated, “Maybe no one epitomizes the spirit of Rhode Island better than this man.”

Throughout all the work he has done on the PC campus, Cooley has become an icon for all the students and teachers to bring a positive attitude towards everyday life.

When accepting the award, he stated how he does not want coaching to define his character, rather “being a better dad, husband, leader and mentor” are the important things that make up what he stands for and how he carries himself through life.

Coach Cooley has captured the spirit of the College, and deserves all the recognition he has been given, including the opportunity to coach Team USA and being named Rhode Island Man of the Year.

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