PC hires English as new men’s basketball coach

Updated at 1:58 p.m.

PROVIDENCE – Goodbye, Ed Cooley. Hello, Kim English.

Providence College on Thursday confirmed that it has hired English as the next head coach of the college’s men’s basketball team. English comes to Providence to succeed Cooley, who left the program earlier this week after 12 years to become head coach of Georgetown University’s men’s basketball team.

According to ESPN, English agreed to a six-year contract to coach the Friars.

PC will formally introduce English on campus as the new coach on March 29 at Alumni Hall. PC Vice President and Director of Athletics Steven Napolillo said in a statement he consulted with former PC men’s coach and current University of Tennessee men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes and former Big East Conference Commissioner Mike Tranghese as part of the search for a new coach.

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Napolillo said he wanted to find “find an individual who represented passion and integrity,” among other values, at PC – which led to English being hired.

“Kim is known as one of the best recruiters in the country and he is a rising star in college basketball,” Napolillo said. “He has had success at every level of basketball as a player and a coach. I look forward to our program reaching new heights and having the opportunity to work with him as my teammate for many years to come.”

English for two seasons was head coach of George Mason University’s men’s basketball team in the Atlantic 10 Conference – the conference that the University of Rhode Island competes in. This past season, George Mason under English’s guidance went 20-13 overall with an 11-7 conference record. The Patriots finished fifth in the regular season and lost to the University of Richmond on March 8 in the A-10 Tournament.

Previously, English served as an assistant with Tennessee’s men’s basketball program under Barnes. In 2012, English was drafted by the Detroit Pistons.

Now, as the 16th coach in the history of PC men’s basketball, English said in a statement that the program is going to do “great things … for a long time.”

“I know that this is a special place with amazing fans, a great tradition and support throughout the community,” English said. We look forward to establishing new relationships with the players, the alums and the fans. The work begins now!”

Cooley, the 2022 Werner Ladder Naismith Coach Of The Year who led PC to nine tournament appearances – seven of them being NCAA tournaments – is the first coach in Big East Conference history to be hired by a conference rival school.

(UPDATED throughout with PC comment.)

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.