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Providence hires Kim English to replace Ed Cooley as men’s basketball coach

Kim English coached the last two seasons at George Mason.Terrance Williams/For The Washington Post

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Providence hired Kim English on Thursday as its next basketball coach, quickly moving to fill the opening left after Ed Cooley left to take the job at Big East rival Georgetown.

English becomes the 16th coach in school history. Cooley resigned from Providence on Monday following 12 seasons. He compiled a 242-153 record with the Friars that included seven appearances, but just three March Madness victories.

The 34-year-old English was 34-29 in two seasons at George Mason, leading the Patriots to a 20-13 record this past season. It was the first time the school reached the 20-win milestone since 2016-17.

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“Kim English is the ideal choice to lead our men’s basketball program, and I am delighted to welcome him to the Providence College community,” school president Father Kenneth Sicard said in a statement. “He is a proven leader with an impressive record of commitment to the holistic development of student-athletes in programs that reflect his work ethic, integrity, and passion for excellence. Those characteristics reflect the ideals of Providence College, and I am excited for the future of Friar men’s basketball under Kim’s leadership.”

The 34-year-old English won 34 games in two seasons at George Mason.Julie Bennett/Associated Press

George Mason president Gregory Washington said it would begin a national search to replace English.

Cooley’s 242 wins as Friars’ coach were second only to Joe Mullaney’s 290 victories that came over two different stints with the Friars.

This will be English’s second head coaching job.

He played college basketball at Missouri and was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the second round in 2012. But his NBA tenure was short and he was waived in 2013. He had a brief stint with the Chicago Bulls in 2014 and also played two years professionally overseas.

English began his coaching career as an assistant under Frank Haith at Tulsa in 2015 and spent two seasons there before being hired by Tad Boyle in 2017 as an assistant coach at Colorado. Then in 2019, former Providence coach Rick Barnes brought English to Tennessee as an assistant coach, where he stayed until being hired by George Mason.

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Providence athletic director Steve Napolillo said he consulted with both Barnes and former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese before making the decision to hire English.

“I wanted to find an individual who represented passion and integrity as well as the many other values of Providence College. That led me to Kim,” Napolillo said. “Kim is known as one of the best recruiters in the country and he is a rising star in college basketball. 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.”