“Sometimes in life, change is needed for emotional stability, for wellness,” Cooley said in an interview with WPRI on Sunday. “And just because you’re at a place doesn’t mean everything’s forever. Providence has always been my dream job, and I’ll continue to say that. Sometimes circumstance changes, and it has nothing to do with administrators, it has nothing to do with athletic directors, it has all to do with [what] me and my wife feel is something that we may possibly need.”
Georgetown parted ways with Ewing after six seasons and a 75-109 record. The Hoyas went 7-25 this season and just 2-18 in the Big East before a 32-point loss to Villanova in the first round of the conference tournament. They also endured a Big East-record 29-game conference losing streak that spanned two seasons.
Georgetown made the NCAA tournament just once under Ewing, after the Hoyas made a surprise run to win the 2021 Big East tournament. Before that, the last time Georgetown advanced to the NCAA tournament was in 2015 with John Thompson III as coach.
“Ed is a proven leader and an experienced coach, whose values and knowledge of the game will lead our program into this new chapter,” Georgetown President John J. DeGioia said in a statement. “His commitment to excellence on and off the court will bring out the best of our basketball program and will give each member of our team the experiences and support they need to thrive.”
Cooley is the first coach hired at Georgetown with no ties to Hall of Fame Coach John Thompson since his retirement in 1999. This will be Cooley’s third head coaching position after leading Fairfield from 2006 to 2011. His career record overall is 334-222.
“Everybody associates change with money or finance, and that, to me, is just very narrow-minded,” Cooley said in the WPRI interview. “My wife and I have been very blessed, with our children, first and foremost, and with each other. You can’t buy someone’s happiness. And you can’t buy someone’s fulfillment.”
The hope is that Cooley can restore the Georgetown brand to prominence after it was a national power for two decades. Thompson won the national championship in 1984, with Ewing as his star, and reached the Final Four in 1982 and 1985. The Hoyas returned to the Final Four in 2007 under John Thompson III.
“This is an exciting moment for Georgetown men’s basketball,” Athletic Director Lee Reed said in a statement. “Coach Cooley is a mentor to young men, and a consistent winner with an impressive body of work. His previous experience gives him an understanding of our Jesuit values and I am confident that he is the coach to return our program to prominence within the Big East and nationally.”
Reed previously said the university would conduct a national search for the next head coach, but it didn’t have to look further than its own conference. Cooley is a 1994 graduate of Stonehill College in Massachusetts, where he was a three-time captain of the basketball team.
“I am excited for the opportunity to lead the men’s basketball program at Georgetown University,” Cooley said in a statement. “President DeGioia and Athletics Director Lee Reed are united in a strong vision, including in their beliefs, for Georgetown’s program, its players and the team’s success.
“I plan on hitting the ground running, getting to work on the court and cultivating relationships in and around the District. Accepting this opportunity with Georgetown is not a decision I took lightly, and was made in careful consideration with my wife and family.”