by Justin Bishop '24 on April 20, 2023
Justin Bishop ’24
It has been almost a month since Ed Cooley left Providence College for a fresh start at Georgetown University after 12 great seasons as the men’s basketball head coach. Rumors began swirling about Cooley leaving Providence after a report that he had met with Georgetown representatives before the Friars game against the Hoyas in Washington D.C. on Feb. 26. However, nothing was put on the record until just before the men’s first round game in the NCAA Tournament against the University of Kentucky. On March 11, Jeff Goodman of Stadium Media reported that Georgetown was going to make a run at Cooley and that Cooley would listen to the offer. This was six days before the first round of the NCAA Tournament. This was unprecedented behavior from the reigning Naismith National Coach of the Year. Just three days later on March 14, CBS Sports’ Seth Davis tweeted, “The Ed Cooley to Georgetown chatter is getting chattier by the hour.” This took the spotlight off the players getting ready to play in the biggest game of some of their careers. After the Friars fell to Kentucky 61–53, it was reported that Ed Cooley was hired by Georgetown, the first time a coach had moved from one Big East school to another in the history of the conference. Another interesting development in this situation is the revelation that Cooley had put his house up for sale the night before officially announcing he was leaving.
Ed Cooley leaving for Georgetown, a Big East rival, leaves major question marks on his Providence College legacy. In the past, he has been outspoken about how he is a “Friar for life” and does not see himself “anywhere else.”
We now welcome the next era of Friars basketball, with new head coach Kim English from George Mason University. English is a well-liked hire by the Providence basketball community, and he was the best candidate available after Cooley left. The top priority would have been Iona University’s, and former Providence head coach, Rick Pitino, but he accepted the St. John’s University head coaching position on the day of Cooley’s departure. Nonetheless, English has become a fan favorite among the students with his social media presence and his new tagline, “Mindset.” English is a former NBA player who was drafted to the Detroit Pistons in 2012 before becoming an assistant coach for the University of Tulsa in 2015. After two years at Tulsa, he spent two years at Colorado University and then was hired by legendary coach Rick Barnes to be an assistant coach at the University of Tennessee. English was hired as a head coach for George Mason University, where he led the team to a 20–13 record last season in the Atlantic 10 Conference. PC athletic director Steve Napolillo, in the press release announcing English’s hiring, said, “I wanted to find an individual who represented passion and integrity as well as the many other values of Providence College. That led me to Kim. Kim is known as one of the best recruiters in the country and he is a rising star in college basketball.” Recruitment is a big part of college basketball. With this in mind, having a coach who is young and relatable, played in the NBA, and gained experience under one of the best head coaches in college basketball is going to make PC the next recruitment hub. English was able to keep the top two players from last year, Devin Carter ’25 and Bryce Hopkins ’25, from entering the transfer portal. He also convinced Jayden Pierre ’26 to leave the portal and return to PC after beating him in a one-on-one basketball game live on social media that went viral when English boasted about his victory and revealed the wager they had made. English has also been able to keep Garwey Dual, a top 50 player in the 2023 recruitment class, committed to PC. In addition, he has brought over three players from George Mason, including forwards Davonte Gaines ’23GS, Justyn Fernandez ’25, and Josh Oduro ’23GS.
Kim English will be here for six years, and Friar fans are excited to see how the team does in their first season without Bob Driscoll or Ed Cooley in 21 years. There is only one thing to say: “So what? Now what?”