Ed Cooley works phones to sell tickets

Providence's website currently features a picture of new coach Ed Cooley seated in an office chair and on the phone. He was taking some time to go into the ticket office and recruit fans himself, encouraging them to support the team with a personal touch.

Cooley's passion and personality were on display right then and there, as it will take one connection at a time to rebuild the image of his hometown program and make it a factor in the Big East going forward.

For now, the school is reporting that with Cooley's help on the phones, 40 percent of season ticket holders have renewed their seats and more than 130 new accounts have been set up.

"Fans are excited about Ed Cooley and the brand of basketball that he will bring to the Dunkin' Donuts Center," athletic ticket manager Christine Flannery said in a statement. "His energy and enthusiasm is contagious. Our fans have commented that they think it is special that our head coach is willing to pick up the phone and make calls to help ticket sales. However, it is more than just selling tickets, it is believing in the product he is trying to create."

The Friars have struggled to only eight regular-season Big East wins over the past two seasons, so an injection of life was needed with Cooley's arrival.

In July, the school reported he had been greeting students on campus, whether they were touring the school, passing by his office or going through orientation as incoming freshmen.

And while driving around with Andy Katz, the first thing Cooley said when greeting a familiar face was, "Make sure you get some tickets to the games, man. All right?"