Coach Ed Cooley was selected as the Men’s Naismith Coach of the Year for the 2021-2022 college basketball season. Cooley was chosen over the other three coaching finalists, Mark Adams (Texas Tech), Greg Gard (Wisconsin), and Tommy Lloyd (Arizona). I thought that all four coaches were excellent this year and I really wouldn’t have had too much of a problem with any of them winning after the respective seasons they each had. I probably would have ranked them Tommy Lloyd, Mark Adams, and the Greg Gard if I needed to pick someone other than Cooley to win the award. I think they narrow it to just a final four nominees but I think Iowa State’s T.J. Otzelberger absolutely belongs in the same conversation as the rest of the group after taking over a team that went 2-21 last season and taking them to the NCAA Tournament with a 22-12 record with a team chock full of transfer players.
Ed Cooley was able win the Big East Regular Season for the first time in the Providence College program history. The teams is an original member of the Big East and it took them 43 years to achieve that feat and it was Ed Cooley who helped them get it. Last Year, Providence was just 13-13 and lost their leading scorer, David Duke, to the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. Cooley became the first Big East coach since 2012 to earn BE Coach of the Year honors without having a player earn All-Big-East First Team accolades. Nate Watson and Jared Bynum were selected as All-Big East Second Team members.
The Naismith Coach of the Year is based on the regular season but if you wanted to factor in the post-season for the 4 finalists, I still think Ed Cooley comes out on top. Cooley won the second most games in Providence College history (27) and took the Friars to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1997. Texas Tech beat #14 Montana State and #11 Notre Dame before falling to Duke in the Sweet Sixteen. Wisconsin beat #14 Colgate before losing to #11 Iowa State in the Round of 32. Arizona defeated #16 Wright State, squeaked out an OT win against #9 TCU, before losing to #5 Houston in the Sweet Sixteen.
There was a lot of love given to Coach Cooley following his award, but here’s just a taste for you…
Congrats on a fantastic season Coach Cooley!