PROVIDENCE — It’s become an annual rite of March in the basketball office at Providence College.
The Friars play in the NCAA Tournament, get knocked out and Ed Cooley’s phone starts ringing. It’s all happening again.
On Monday, Cooley said he has fielded calls from search firms, friends and go-betweens to gauge his interest in other coaching jobs. He says he isn’t going anywhere. “There have been more calls in the last few days,” he said. “I have no interest.”
Asked where the interest is coming from, Cooley refused to bite in order to protect other schools’ searches. Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and California have all filled openings in the last week. Georgetown is the current vacant position that makes some sense, even if jumping across enemy lines in the Big East would be more than a bit taboo. When asked directly about the Hoyas, Cooley said “Georgetown is not in any discussions. I’m not interested,” he said.
Some coaches often mix hot air and bluster when talk of the coaching carousel surfaces. You get your name out there often enough — and keep winning games — and your agent is on fertile ground when it’s time to talk contract with your athletic director.
Cooley’s not playing games. He’s resisted feelers in recent years from Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Cal and Tennessee, among others. Those are his words. He’s getting a bit tired of it. Maybe he should change his phone number.
PC athletic director Bob Driscoll has dealt with this dynamic for nearly all of Cooley’s six years on the job. That’s why last March the school signed him to a contract that made the Providence native “a Friar for life.” That came in the form of a 10-year deal and PC’s latest tax forms show Cooley now earns over $2 million a year, and rising.
“We had actually talked a few weeks ago because some people were calling,” Driscoll said, “but Ed had promised me…