Fairfield hires Boston College assistant Cooley

Updated: April 11, 2006, 1:47 PM ET
Associated Press

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Boston College assistant Ed Cooley was hired as Fairfield's coach Tuesday, joining a team that won just nine games last season.

The appointment comes a month after Tim O'Toole said he would not return to coach Fairfield, which has slumped the last three years.

"We want to establish an identity and set a foundation for how we want to play," Cooley said.

The 34-year-old Cooley was a Boston College assistant for nine seasons and handled recruiting the last five. He called his new job "a natural fit."

"When you pull up on campus, you just have a gut feeling," he said. "I liked the campus, I can see myself here and when I sat down with the administration, we all had the same vision, all had the same goal."

O'Toole, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference coach of the year in 2004, finished with a 112-120 record. The Stags' nine wins this past season were the program's fewest since they went 8-19 in 1993-94. The team, which went 15-15 last season, failed to build off back-to-back 19-win seasons in 2002-03 and 2003-04.

Cooley also was an assistant at UMass-Dartmouth, Stonehill and Rhode Island and followed coach Al Skinner from Rhode Island to Boston College. He was one of Skinner's top assistants with the Eagles.

"Hopefully, I'll take away his demeanor and his approach for game planning," Cooley said. "Al's patience level and his understanding of young men is something I want to emulate. He's been more than a coach, more than a boss. But it's time to leave the nest and fly on your own."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press