According to a report from Matt Norlander of CBS Sports on Tuesday afternoon, Providence Friars men’s basketball coach Ed Cooley underwent back surgery on Monday. The procedure was to alleviate a herniated disc as the veteran head coach will now be forced to the sideline for at least the next two months.
Cooley has reportedly been dealing with back pain for much of 2016 while the aforementioned procedure took two hours to complete. However, he is expected to be ready and available for Providence’s season-opener against Vermont on November 14.
The 46-year-old has dropped over 100 pounds over the last couple of years and exercises on the treadmill daily while his back pain ultimately became too severe. Cooley has been at the helm at Providence back in 2011 following five seasons in charge at Fairfield. In his five years with the Friars, he has compiled a record of 103-67, including a Big East Tournament Championship in 2013-2014. His team has made three consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament, though they haven’t advanced beyond the Round of 32.
Cooley’s most notable player has been point guard Kris Dunn, who was drafted No. 5 overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in June. Forward Ben Bentil, who led the team in scoring at 21.1 points per game last season, was also drafted 51st overall by the Boston Celtics. The Friars will look to improve upon last season’s fourth-place finish in the Big East behind Rodney Bullock, the team’s only returning player to average more than 10 points per game in 2015-2016.