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The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

Divine Providence Review


Content Warning: This article discusses sexual activity.

If you are a huge college basketball fan, you know the controversy surrounding Ed Cooley and Providence. The day was March 20th, 2023. Cooley and his Friars had just lost to Kentucky in the 1st round of the 2023 NCAA tournament, which ended a 6-game stretch where Providence had lost 5 of 6, and to the shock of no one, Georgetown announced that Cooley would be taking their open head coaching job.

This documentary is split into two chapters. Chapter 1 focuses on Ed Cooley and his childhood, Cooley grew up in South Providence and dreamed of playing at the local school, Providence College. Cooley ended up playing at Stonehill, which is a small college in Easton, Massachusetts. They participated in the North Eastern Conference, where Cooley was a three-year team captain. Cooley, after graduation, would take a job at Umass Dartmouth as an assistant. He then moved on to his alma mater in 1995, where he would take a job as an assistant again.

In 1996, Cooley would move on to Rhode Island again as an assistant. He would again only stay at the school for one year before taking the job of assistant at Boston College. Cooley was there for 9 years before taking the head coaching job at Fairfield, which participates in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. He would be there for 5 years, where they would win one MAAC championship.

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The Providence native would take the job at his dream school in 2011. At his introductory press conference, Cooley promised to stay forever and bring championships. Cooley would deliver on his promise, as his Friars would win the Big East tournament in 2014 and the Big East regular season championship in 2022. Providence would lose to eventual champion Kansas in the Sweet 16 of the 2022 NCAA tournament by only 5, which was Kansas’ toughest test on their National Championship run. But this season was seen as a stepping stone, alerting the basketball world that Providence was here to stay as a national power.

Chapter 2 starts in the 2022 offseason. Providence got back Jared Bynum, a star point guard, Ed Croswell, a star big, and would also bring in a major impact wing in Bryce Hopkins from Kentucky. The Friars would start 6-0 in Big East play, including a 12-point home win over eventual Nation Champion Uconn. While this was taking place at Providence, Patrick Ewing and Georgetown were mired in a 29-game Big East losing streak. It was clear that the time had come to fire Patrick Ewing; the question was just who would replace him.

Cooley’s name was connected to the job, but that was laughed out. Why would the 54-year-old Providence native take a job where he would not see success for 4-5 years? As the season continued, though, the noise got even louder, which coincided with the Friars’ final six games, and it started to seem that there was some fire to the smoke surrounding Cooley and Georgetown.

Three days after the Kentucky loss, Ed Cooley’s Providence mansion was on the market, and a few hours after that, Georgetown announced the signing of Ed Cooley. Cooley would claim family reasons as to why he left for Georgetown, which is respectable, and though Providence fans were hurt, they could only respect that Cooley was doing what was best for his family. That was until 1:58 P.M.

Rumors started to come out via Twitter and Providence message boards that stated that Cooley had an affair with a woman, and his wife gave him an ultimatum to leave Providence or she would leave him. Cooley, understandably, took option one and was on his way to DC. The documentary ends with talk of what Cooley’s first game back would be like, and some of the interviewees said objects might be thrown at Cooley. Thankfully, that did not take place.

If you’re a college basketball fan and would like to find out more about Ed Cooley’s departure from Providence, I would suggest you give Divine Providence a watch on YouTube.

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