Ed Cooley is fielding tons of questions at BIG EAST Media Day about his March defection from the Providence Friars to your Georgetown Hoyas and the focal point of his answer is “Change.” In his interviews, Cooley underscores that both he and Georgetown needed “change” and this “change” can do wonders to reinvigorate a coaching staff, a fan base, a school, and maybe even a whole city.
One piece of news that speaks volumes of the respect his peers have for Cooley to effect this “change” is that—after GU going 2-38 in conference play over the past two years—Cooley’s Hoyas were picked 8th in the BIG EAST Coaches’ Poll, ahead of DePaul, Butler, and Seton Hall.
The last two seasons a team picked to finish 7th or lower has earned the 1 seed in the Big East Tournament— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) October 24, 2023
2023 Marquette was picked 9th, finished 1st
2022 Providence was picked 7th, finished 1st https://t.co/d1np02ZcKV
Cooley spoke about the Georgetown rebuild and the hopeful symbiosis of growing with the fans (encouragin the purchase of season tickets). He also reiterated his love for his hometown of Providence and the program he built there, rooting for the best with new coach Kim English. And with the BIG EAST expected to be as competitive as it will be, Cooley admitted that it really will be a tough year to make the “change” he needs.
Ed Cooley, unfiltered:— The Field of 68 (@TheFieldOf68) October 24, 2023
“Was it hard to leave? 1000%. But Georgetown is change. And change is healthy. I understand the bitterness that comes with that. I promise you I’m excited to go back there this year. But I’m not apologizing for taking care of my life. End of discussion.” pic.twitter.com/QJJfBNf47O
Cooley talks with John Fanta and the panel (at about 2 hours and 40 minutes in) and addresses important topics like Dunkin Donuts coffee, the long days of campaign lifestyle, and Supreme Cook’s deep voice. Jayden Epps is interviewed right after and conveys his great relationship with coach and how he followed Cooley to Georgetown.
‘I think Rick Pitino is the greatest coach in the history of college basketball’— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) October 24, 2023
Ed Cooley, who adds the @StJohnsBBall -@GeorgetownHoops rivalry could return to its past glory pic.twitter.com/ZRTJAPkPBG
Ed Cooley and Kim English sharing words during Big East Media Day. pic.twitter.com/xBN2DIXnko— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) October 24, 2023
Ed Cooley: “When I go back to Providence on the 27th, it’ll be an overwhelming feeling I’m gonna anticipate. I can feel the anger and I get it, I understand it. But in our world of change, change is okay. Providence College gave me an incredible opportunity to be on this stage.”— Jaden Daly (@DalyDoseOfHoops) October 24, 2023
Georgetown head coach Ed Cooley on his departure from Providence: pic.twitter.com/Op4F1yoBn3— Dave Connelly (@DaveConnellySG) October 24, 2023
Ed Cooley, then Providence, now Georgetown, holding court.— Adam Zielonka (@Adam_Zielonka) October 24, 2023
"I can feel the anger and I get it. I understand it. I can internalize that. But in our world, change is OK. ... I'll always be a kid from Providence." pic.twitter.com/jRxmul26s3
Georgetown coach Ed Cooley on going to play against Providence in conference play this season: pic.twitter.com/2cescjJdGs— Geno Green (@GenoGreenSports) October 24, 2023
Ed Cooley: “I totally understand the anger, what they feel as a betrayal. I get it, I’ll internalize that. But until all of them sit in my seat and understand what change is, I can go to bed knowing that.” #Hoyas #pcbb— Jaden Daly (@DalyDoseOfHoops) October 24, 2023
Georgetown coach Ed Cooley on PC fans' reaction to him leaving: "I can feel the anger. I get it. I understand it... Change is ok." pic.twitter.com/ASBXD7JxCO— Gavin Keefe (@GavinKeefe) October 24, 2023
Head Coach Ed Cooley on the strength of the Big East: “We go through a gauntlet of a schedule, our league doesn’t get enough credit. Some of the best of the best are in the Big East” pic.twitter.com/GWhBo8YlEU— UCTV Sports (@UCTVSports) October 24, 2023
LOL. Sleeper with 87 walk ons? Try again, Jon. Amazing how Cooley was at his ceiling at Providence (3-7 NCAAT in 12 years and 1 S16) when the program has been to 2 E8’s and 1 FF in the last ~35 years but all the sudden he’s a HOF’er who will make Georgetown good in 2023-24 https://t.co/FmzRkOnvCm pic.twitter.com/fOWaQi7Qr7— Mike Hopkins (@pcbb1917) October 22, 2023
The obligatory coaches’ photo. pic.twitter.com/9tiJdBPmw9— Jaden Daly (@DalyDoseOfHoops) October 24, 2023
Great news. I'm hearing good stuff about JB from my philly friends. https://t.co/n3lt0mCgAp— Philadelphia Hoyas (@PhillyHoyas) October 23, 2023
Breaking: Georgetown senior forward Ismael Massoud suffered a broken hand in the Hoyas’ closed scrimmage on Saturday against Pittsburgh and will be out roughly 6-8 weeks, sources tell Fox Sports. Story: https://t.co/dwAUCU6kTP— John Fanta (@John_Fanta) October 23, 2023
New Georgetown head basketball coach Ed Cooley was an institution at Providence. When he left in March for a job within the Big East conference, questions and criticism were expected.
But Cooley said Tuesday at Big East media days he won’t apologize for making the move.
“Was it hard to leave? 1,000 percent,” Cooley, 54, said.
“But Georgetown is change. And change is healthy. I understand the bitterness that comes with that. I promise you I’m excited to go back there this year. But I’m not apologizing for taking care of my life. End of discussion.”
Georgetown coach Ed Cooley wasn’t holding back in his praise of Pitino, who has led five programs to the NCAA Tournament and three to the Final Four, either.
“I think Rick Pitino is probably the greatest college coach in the history of the sport,” Cooley said. “The greatest in the history of the sport.”
Both Pitino and Cooley, meantime, said they hope to restore the St. John’s-Georgetown rivalry to its past glory.
“This place will be humming pretty soon,” Cooley said of the matchup. “Can’t you hear it? You can hear it right now. Every seat in here will be taken.”
Pitino said by his second season he expects it to be a marquee game.
“I know Ed’s going to build that into a power, there’s not a doubt in my mind,” Pitino said of Georgetown. “And there’s not a doubt in my mind St. John’s is going to be a power. How soon we can do that, I don’t know. But it may not happen this year, Georgetown-St. John’s [as a marquee game], but I guarantee it’ll happen the following year.”
Ed Cooley one-on-one with @NCoitABC6.— Ian Steele (@IanSteeleABC6) October 25, 2023
Topics include the anticipated atmosphere for his return to Providence 1/27 and if there are any regrets from his departure from PC to Georgetown.@ABC6 #PCBB #GoFriars pic.twitter.com/0iV4iCCGtY
Ed Cooley on changing culture at Georgetown: “Little by little, it’s not gonna happen overnight. But little by little, the #Hoyas are gonna be climbing the ranks.”— Jaden Daly (@DalyDoseOfHoops) October 24, 2023
Ed Cooley: “The Big East, if you remember, all the writers who were here 10-11 years ago…the skepticism, the doubt, the narrative. Think of all the doubt that was there. The Big East is a monster, it’s the best it’s been since 2011, when we had 11 teams in the tournament.”— Jaden Daly (@DalyDoseOfHoops) October 24, 2023
“I’ll always love Providence College. It was really, really hard to leave. But change was in the air.”
Among a sea of storylines inside The Garden, there was also the dynamic of Georgetown and Providence with 54-year-old Ed Cooley leaving the Friars for the Hoyas during the offseason in the conference’s most stunning coaching move in league history.
On Tuesday morning, Cooley and new Providence head coach Kim English could be seen catching up and talking casually as Big East commissioner Val Ackerman delivered opening remarks. English has joked before that he’s the only one left in Cooley’s hometown that still likes him, as tension will always be present between the ex-Friars coach and the Providence community.
“I can feel the anger and I get it,” Cooley said of the Friar community and fan base. “But in our world, change is OK. I don’t think we should be villainized or victimized. Change is OK. But I’ll always be from the state of Rhode Island. I’ll always be a kid from Providence, and I’ll always cheer for Providence College.
Ed Cooley also praised Justin Moore:— Colin Beazley (@colin_beazley) October 24, 2023
"I think Justin Moore is destined to be one of the National Players of the Year." https://t.co/MUWjvWeBsu
#Georgetown HC Ed Cooley on the value of change and being the first coach to go from one Big East school to another— Aman (@AmanfromCT) October 25, 2023
"Until you sit in my seat...and understand the importance of change... I'm okay with it, I understand what's coming to me." pic.twitter.com/qWGsWjNEdO
Ed Cooley: “I do know not having football in our conference has helped the Big East, because we don’t have to succumb to the giant of football and the overall capacity of it. We’re able to sell basketball-centric as a league, as coaches.”— Jaden Daly (@DalyDoseOfHoops) October 24, 2023
“I know Ed’s going to build that into a power, there’s not a doubt in my mind,” Pitino said Tuesday. “And there’s not a doubt in my mind St. John’s is going to be a power. How soon we can do that, I don’t know. But it may not happen this year, Georgetown-St. John’s [as a marquee game], but I guarantee it’ll happen the following year.”
Ackerman said in March it’s important for the league for the Hoyas to be relevant.
“We need Georgetown on a high perch,” she said in a one-on-one interview at Pitino’s press conference at Madison Square Garden. “They’re one of the biggest brands, if not the biggest brand in the Big East, [they] have a proud history. They’re very determined to restore past glory and they clearly think that Coach Cooley can get them to where they want to go so I think from that standpoint it’s very exciting with great coaches in the Big East but the bar just got raised.”