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Exclusive: Ed Cooley on why he left Providence for Georgetown

New Georgetown coach Ed Cooley nonetheless holds loads of love for Providence College, however he did not like how he was handled throughout his ultimate days with this system.

Speaking to FOX Sports’ John Fanta in an unique interview after being launched as the brand new coach of the Hoyas males’s basketball workforce on Wednesday, Cooley detailed the method that led him to depart Providence for Georgetown. Cooley described it as a “fast course of,” although he thought in regards to the choice “lengthy and laborious” as he left the place the place he coached for the final 12 seasons.

“When I did a deep dive of what is vital — I all the time stated sure to everyone, and I all the time stated no to Ed. Coach Cooley did all the things, however Ed wanted a change,” Cooley stated. “I assumed Georgetown was the place for me to make that change. As laborious because it was as a result of it is in-conference, and since lots of people take a look at that as villainous or betrayal, I hope folks give me a chance to serve Ed. And it sounds egocentric, it sounds actual egocentric, however generally change is want on either side and I felt for me change was wanted.”

Cooley talked about how his daughter, Olivia, is graduating from Georgetown later this spring and her remaining within the D.C. space was a part of his choice to take on the brand new problem. Cooley additionally stated he did not see a change on the horizon initially, however that he in the end realized that Georgetown had rather a lot to supply. 

“The Big East has rather a lot to do with the change despite the fact that it is robust as a result of it is in-conference,” Cooley stated. “I like the Big East. I like basketball-centric locations. They’re the recruiting fertile floor of the DMV space that expands. The metropolis, [my wife] Nurys desires to reside in a metropolis, and she or he’s executed an incredible job and doing what I’ve wished to do for 29 years. That performed into the function of creating a change. 

“It was simply one thing completely different. So, why not? We’ve acquired extra years behind us than forward of us. I’m excited to be right here. I’m wanting ahead to the problem of constructing one other program.”

Cooley additionally addressed hypothesis that his transfer to Georgetown had been within the works for a while. He denied that was the case, saying that he’s had one rule when different applications confirmed curiosity in him lately. 

“We’ve been lucky to be approached yearly for the final 5 or 6 years. I’m honored to say that and I’m humbled to say that,” Cooley stated. “But they know they’re underneath direct orders: Do not mess with me till the tip of the 12 months. So, proper when the season ended, we acquired contacted. 

“And then the narrative on the market was simply improper. Just improper. The integrity piece is vital to us. The conversations occurred once they occurred and 48 hours later, 72 hours later right here we’re in D.C. now the pinnacle coach of Georgetown.”

In the times between Providence’s season-ending loss to Kentucky and Cooley taking the Georgetown job, some private particulars of Cooley’s life emerged, most notably that his Rhode Island residence was on the market. Cooley stated his home was being bought over the past 4 or 5 months, nonetheless, and expressed displeasure over the way in which his departure was being reported regionally.

“It’s been robust, Cooley stated. “I can perceive Friartown, love Friartown. It’s like a part of my DNA. The motive we’re downsizing to start with is as a result of my children are older, we’re out and we’re lucky to have a spot downtown within the metropolis. … How that acquired out like that, how that modified the narrative it was simply unhappy on the affect it had on my household. The optics have been — how the media portrayed was improper as a result of it villainized us ultimately. I perceive your job. I perceive a journalist’s job. But we’re people similar to anyone else. My children have emotions. My spouse has emotions. It was simply improper as a result of we have been downsizing anyway.

“It’s OK, I perceive everyone’s anger,” Cooley added. “I’m from Providence, raised there, born there, coached there. I’m nonetheless going to be one in all them. That made it even tougher when folks suppose you turned their again on them and I perceive their anger. But they solely wished Coach Cooley. I wish to be Ed. I am unable to say that sufficient.”

Now Cooley is popping his focus to fixing Georgetown. The Hoyas have solely made the NCAA Tournament twice over the previous 10 seasons and have gone 13-50 over the past two seasons.

Yet, Cooley nonetheless holds this system in excessive regard. Part of that’s due to John Thompson, who coached the Hoyas for 27 seasons and was the primary Black coach in historical past to win a nationwide championship. 

Cooley stated that Thompson gave younger Black children and Black coaches a “ball of hope” as he “gave us a chance to see ourselves by means of him.” That’s why he referred to as it an honor to be the pinnacle coach of Georgetown and hopes he can obtain related heights. 

“Iconic,” Cooley stated when requested to make use of one phrase to explain Georgetown’s program. “Has it been down? Sure. But that is OK. The journey of constructing, the journey of getting again to the mountaintop is what this going to be all about. And when it is all stated and executed, that iconic identify, that iconic G will as soon as once more stand on prime of the mountain.”

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