Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Brighter Futures Honoree 2016: Coach Ed Cooley

Coach Building Brighter Futures for Others
to be
Honored by Family Service of Rhode Island

Providence College Basketball Coach Ed Cooley 12th Recipient of "Brighter Futures Award"

Family Service of Rhode Island, a statewide non-profit serving abused children and many other Rhode Islanders in need, is honoring Providence College men's basketball coach Ed Cooley at its 12th annual Brighter Futures luncheon on Wednesday, October 26, at the Rhode Island Convention Center beginning at noon.

"He was raised in the low-income neighborhood where we have our home office, South Providence," said Family Service of Rhode Island CEO Margaret Holland McDuff.  "He attended Sackett Street Elementary, Roger Williams Middle, right down the street from us on Thurbers Avenue, and Central High. We actively work with children in all three schools. From these roots he built a career committed to hard work and caring--for his players and the community.  He's a role model not only for those facing adversity, but for us all, no matter our life story."

Coach Cooley is the first coach or athlete to receive the prestigious Brighter Futures recognition.  Past recipients include state Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, who is co-chairing this year's luncheon; Geoffrey Canada, former president and CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone; the Boston Red Sox, the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Red Sox Foundation; and U.S. Senator Jack Reed.

Providence College President Brian J. Shanley, O.P., called the choice of Ed Cooley for the award "perfect!"

"Ed Cooley worked hard for his own brighter future despite many obstacles.  Now, he's helping others build theirs at Providence College and beyond," said Father Shanley, who is also co-chairing the luncheon.

One way he is doing that is through his "Father/Son Camp" which teaches basketball fundamentals and how to use the game to strengthen the father and son relationship. Another way is raising funds for good causes in Rhode Island, and his and his wife's personal philanthropy.

Ed Cooley excelled as a player at Central High School, and later at Stonehill College. After graduating he became a high school history teacher in Massachusetts. From there he worked his way up from an assistant basketball coach at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to head coach at Providence College in 2011, with stops along the way at Stonehill, the University of Rhode Island, Boston College, and Fairfield University.

He was named Rhode Island High School Player of the Year twice and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for the 2010-2011 season.  Coach Cooley's Friars made NCAA Tournament appearances in 2014 and 2015, and in 2014 won the Big East Tournament title.

Event sponsorships (from $1,750 to $25,000) and tickets ($175 each) are available at (401) 519-2278 or events@familyserviceri.org, and by visiting  www.familyserviceri.org. Major sponsors include Malcolm G. Chace, Jr.; IGT; Capitol Securities; Citizens Bank; Hinckley Allen; Deepwater Wind; Dimeo Construction Company; Amica; the Cooley/Group (no relation);  and Peregrine Group.