PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Providence College officially welcomed the new men’s and women’s basketball coaches.
Men’s coach Kim English and women’s coach Erin Batth were introduced to the Friars community Wednesday morning.
“Both of these young coaches are going to rewrite Providence College basketball history,” Athletic Director Steve Napolillo said.
Story continues below photos.
“I want to thank Coach Cooley and his staff for bringing us to new heights and bringing special memories but today we start a new chapter and I could not be more excited than to have Kim English as my new teammate in Firartown,” Napolillo continued.
English, 34, is replacing Ed Cooley, who decided to leave Providence and take a job as the head coach for Georgetown University.
“When I first got to meet Coach English, I felt like we knew each other for years,” Napolillo noted. “He knew his purpose, he had a passion, he had a desire that he showed me that we were meant to do this together.”
English just finished his second season as head coach at George Mason University in Virginia, where he led the Patriots to a 20-13 record this past year.
“This place is special. There is something different going on here. I’ve been all over the country, I’ve played in the Big 12 I’ve coached in the Pack 12 I’ve coached in the SEC, the Atlantic 10, something different is going on here,” English said.
English also worked under former Friars coach Rick Barnes at the University of Tennessee. Barnes also made the move from George Mason to Providence back in the late 80s.
He played college ball at the University of Missouri and was selected in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons.
“I made a mistake when I was your age. I made a big mistake. My goal in life was to get to the NBA. That was my dream. I was obsessed with it,” English said. “I got to the NBA and I lost that edge and that fire… I always knew I wanted to coach. When I got into coaching I vowed to never make that mistake again.”
English said the fire in him and his staff to win Big East championships and compete for national championships is “never going to stop burning.”
“We’re ready to get to work,” he said. “We’re going to fight.”
WATCH: Athletic Director Steve Napolillo introduces men’s head coach Kim English. (Story continues below)
“Women’s basketball. I believe this program is a sleeping giant, not only in the Big East but nationally,” Napolillo said. “Today this program goes on the map. Beware women’s basketball in the NCAA, the Erin Batth era has started and we’re coming in strong.
Batth, 44, is replacing Jim Crowley, who led the program the previous seven seasons.
She comes to Providence with 17 years of Division I coaching experience and spent last season at Michigan as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Wolverines.
“When talking to candidates, no one, no one, no one had the energy, the passion, the desire, and I truly believe is a soulmate to be at Providence College,” Napolillo said.
Batth was the first player from Clemson drafted into the WNBA, going to the Cleveland Rockers in 2001.
She acknowledged that she has worked for many universities and people but Provodence’s administration is “something different.”
“I cannot believe I am here. The sky is the limit,” Batth said. “I knew when the time came, I would be ready to be a head coach and that time is now.”
Batth noted that she is excited to build something the entire community will be proud of.
“Let’s go ladies and gentlemen, let’s do this,” she said. “Go Friars.”
WATCH: Athletic Director Steve Napolillo introduces women’s head coach Erin Batth.