After all the winning Georgetown coach Ed Cooley – it still feels a little weird to call him that right? – did during his introductory press conference on Wednesday afternoon, I was able to get a few minutes with another important piece to the Hoyas rebuilding project in athletic Director Lee Reed.
Here are the highlights:
When asked about what roles each him and university president Jack DeGioia held during the search process, Reed started out by saying: “Nothing happens without the president, so we were in lockstep.”
He went on to talk about the search firm Georgetown hired – TurnkeyZRG – and that they had to ‘keep it tight for a lot of reasons’.
More from Reed on the process: “It was basically [DeGioia] and I with the assistance from the board. We have a board committee. We just got it done.”
Back in 2017 at the same press conference for the hiring of Patrick Ewing, DeGioia expressed his deep appreciation to board members Paul Tagliabue and Kevin Warren along with Reed for leading that search process.
When asked about naming specific board members on a committee this time around, Reed felt it was best to keep that information private.
“There were some board members involved,” Reed said.
“I don’t think they want to be singled out but we had support from the board for sure.”
So one of the bigger questions about Georgetown’s search, at least from the Providence perspective, seems to be about when the search officially started. So, I asked about it.
“You start thinking about the future,” Reed began.
“That’s my job - to think about the future. I would say we were committed to coach Ewing through the season. Once we made the decision that coach Ewing wasn’t coming back on that Thursday after the Big East Tournament we were prepared to go into search mode and were able to do that pretty quickly.”
There’s likely a semantics issue going on here because it’s rather difficult, actually impossible, for everything to have happened so quickly but I understand he’s not going to put anything out there to make Ewing, Cooley or really anyone look bad. Instead a large portion of Providence twitter has done that to themselves.
So moving right along to another part of this search that seems to have hit a nerve with apparently now heated rivals Providence, is the fact that Cooley has become the first coach to move directly from one Big East coaching job to the next. While most Georgetown fans don’t seem to care that Cooley came from the ‘Catholic 7’, it’s a fact that has been making Friar fans and even some within their media completely melt down over the past few days. Here’s Reed on the subject:
“It made it different but it’s my responsibility to take care of Georgetown University,” Reed said about targeting a coach within the league.
“[Cooley] was a candidate and we felt like it was OK for us to move forward. It’s my responsibility to take care of this program and find the best leader in the country regardless of school in terms of him to come here. I wish Providence all the best in their search. I understand they’ve hired somebody. I’m sure he’ll be successful but this was about Georgetown University.”
It should be noted that since we spoke Providence has indeed made a hire in former George Mason coach Kim English.
AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT
Obviously we could write thousands upon thousands of words here but Reed touched on two main topics. This is in no way to say that these two are the only pressing issues facing the Hoyas.
As we all know there was a zoom last night for former Hoyas that were unable to welcome Cooley in person. Player engagement has long been a weak spot for the Hoyas and it’s something both Reed and Cooley wanted to get after right away. Here’s what Reed had to say on the subject:
“It’s incredibly important to recognize the past and our past players. You heard coach Cooley talk about it. In fact for the alumni that couldn’t be in person today we’re going to do a zoom tonight because coach Cooley wanted to be sure that on Day 1 he was reaching out to our alumni. He embraces that. He understands the big picture. He checks every single box for Georgetown. He’s a helluva coach, he’s a helluva person, he’s a mentor and leader of men that understands the basketball program within the overall university and our mission and what we’re trying to achieve here as a university. He gets it.”
Ed Cooley conducted a Zoom with former players and managers this evening. Michael Graham, Chris Wright, DSR, Ashanti Cook, Reggie Williams, Jerome Williams, Rodney Pryor, Julian Vaughn, Patrick Ewing Jr, among others were on the call.— Casual Hoya (@CasualHoya) March 23, 2023
Another issue Cooley hopes to fix sooner rather than later is the gameday atmosphere at Capital One Arena. I wanted to know how much input Cooley is going to be allowed to provide in this area and if Georgetown is open to trying things that haven’t been done before at the Hoyas home away from campus.
“We’re going to sit down with coach Cooley and go through all of that,” Reed said after admitting that it’s an issue that has to be addressed.
“We’ll have plenty of time to revamp what that arena and game day atmosphere looks like. He’s going to be a big part of it. It’s reengaging our students on campus, our alumni, our donors, our fans the DMV to reignite this thing. It will take some time but I believe we’ll get there.”
And last but not least I tried to get confirmation on Cooley’s contract despite knowing it was a bit of a longshot. As expected, Reed declined to comment stating that they don’t get into that at Georgetown.
Just an FYI: Ed Cooley did NOT leave Georgetown for the money. Sure, he is making more with the Hoyas. But the average is about $5 million per year, per source.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 21, 2023
7 years at about $35 million at Georgetown, per source. Providence was paying somewhere around 4.5 mil per year.
So there you have it. It was nice to get some time with the AD on such an important day for the program.
Until next time.