PROVIDENCE â€“ One could walk out of Alumni Hall draped in confidence that Providence College got it right this time.
That was Ed Cooleyâ€™s biggest accomplishment on Wednesday afternoon. He gave a fan base a reason to hope again. The Providence native is coming home to breath fresh air into a program that is begging for a turnaround, and he appears the correct guy for the job.
The two virtually grew up in the same corner of the state, frequently crossing paths whenever a pickup game broke out. Everything changed though, Jamal Gomes recalls, on the day of his high school graduation, when he learned a great deal about Ed Cooley, the person.
â€śHe had heard that I was coming to Stonehill College to play basketball and called to congratulate me,â€ť was one of several stories Gomes shared about Cooley, who will be introduced as the next menâ€™s basketball head coach at Providence College Wednesday afternoon. â€śHeâ€™s an amazing, amazing man.â€ť
PROVIDENCE â€“ There was only one candidate Providence College officials had its sights set on to become the schoolâ€™s next basketball coach. Apparently Ed Cooley felt that warm embrace to the point that the Providence native is ready to take on the challenge of reversing the Friarsâ€™ fortunes.
Tuesday saw Providence officially sign off on the 41-year-old Cooley as the Friarsâ€™ new coach. Terms of the deal were not announced, though itâ€™s not too far-fetched to think Cooley received something comparable, in terms of length and compensation, to the package Keno Davis was awarded three years ago.
CUMBERLAND â€“ They'll have a new head coach and they'll be participating in a new league.
But as far as the outlook for the upcoming season for Cumberland High, it will still be the same old goals.
â€śWe just want to win as many games as possible and have some fun,â€ť said first-year coach Matt Smalley. â€śWe are just going to take it one game at a time and hopefully at the end of the season we'll be playing on championship day.â€ť
On the same day Providence College parted company with Keno Davis, athletic director Bob Driscoll spelled out very succinctly the expectations he has for the Friar basketball program.
â€śIt encompasses three different things. One, I want our student-athletes to represent the college and athletic department with dignity and class, both on and off the court,â€ť was how Driscoll began. â€śI want my student-athletes to graduate from Providence College and I want to compete for a NCAA Tournament berth on an annual basis. Those are the standards by which I evaluate.â€ť
PROVIDENCE â€” After battling a stiff headwind for the first mile of the St. Patâ€™s 5K, Stephen Pretak knew his goal of running close to 15 minutes would not happen Saturday morning.
But the less-than-favorable conditions in the Providence race didnâ€™t stop him from breaking the tape a winner.
The 26-year-old Connecticut native captured the final stage of the inaugural Tour de Patrick, finishing the out-and-back course with a time of 15:31.7. Pretak held off defending titlist Eric Lonergan of North Kingstown, who claimed the runner-up spot at 15:35.4.
The seasons come and the seasons go.
Another winter of high school sports in our region has come to an end (except for Mount St. Charles hockey, both the boys and the girls).
It wasnâ€™t a particularly great campaign for teams from the Blackstone Valley. St. Raphael Academy did win the boysâ€™ basketball open tournament. That was no small achievement, especially after the Saints limped to the finish line during the regular season and made a quick exit from the division playoffs.
Life is about second chances and the Saints made the most of their opportunity.
PAWTUCKET â€” Freddy Gobewole is making a name for himself in this city, first as an all-state football player for Shea High last autumn and then as the New England high school indoor track champion at 55 meters.