Ed Cooley Staying at Providence After Interviewing for Michigan Head Coach Job

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2019

Providence head coach Ed Cooley reacts to a call during the first half of a first round NCAA National Invitation Tournament college basketball game against Arkansas in Providence, R.I., Tuesday, March 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Providence men's basketball coach Ed Cooley will remain at the program, agreeing to a contract extension Tuesday after taking a meeting with the University of Michigan. 

"While it's very flattering to be considered for other head-coaching jobs, after talking with my family I have decided to remain in my hometown of Providence," Cooley said in a statement. "The Friars are my family. Most importantly, my commitment is to my players and my team at Providence."

Cooley, 49, has been the head coach at Providence for the last eight seasons. He's compiled a 162-110 record, leading the Friars to five NCAA tournament appearances.

Michigan met with Cooley on Monday during its search to replace John Beilein, who left the school to take the Cleveland Cavaliers' coaching job earlier this month.

"We are excited to announce that Ed Cooley will continue to lead our men's basketball program," athletic director Bob Driscoll said. "We believe that Ed is one of the top of coaches in the country."

The Wolverines could turn their attention to Juwan Howard, the longtime NBA veteran who has been an assistant coach with the Miami Heat since his retirement as a player in 2013. Howard was a member of Michigan's Fab Five and played at the school from 1991 to 1994. He's also received endorsements from a number of his former teammates.

Jalen Rose said on his ESPN Radio show (via Orion Sang of the Detroit Free Press):

"Okay, this ain't just no nostalgic, 'Oh, he was a member of the Fab Five, so let's give him the job.' He was a terrific high school player, McDonald's All-American, he's a terrific performer at Michigan, a member of the Fab Five, he was an All-Star in the NBA, he was a champion, he's not only learned under some of the best to do it, Erik Spoelstra, Pat Riley, he also has the blessing of John Beilein, who he spent a lot of time with, of Steve Fisher, who he spent a lot of time with.

"He's also a (Jordan Brand) athlete, and that's the shoe that the school actually wears! This is such a layup! If Juwan Howard doesn't get that job, I'm not going to even make any blanket statements of how that's going to make me feel."

"All we need is to hire Juwan so we can take (Michigan State) out," Chris Webber said on a TNT broadcast. "... It would be great for the whole university," Webber said. "It would bring everybody back together."

While Michigan's relationship with the Fab Five is checkered—the university had to forfeit nearly all of its accomplishments from that era due to players being paid—things have improved in recent years. Hiring Howard would arguably bring everything full circle and allow the wounds to fully heal after more than two decades.

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