By Brady Henderson
Considered a leading candidate all along, Ernie Kent will indeed be Washington State’s next men’s basketball coach.
The school announced Monday that Kent has signed a five-year roll over contract but did not disclose the terms of the deal. Kent will be introduced as the program’s 18th head coach on Wednesday.
The announcement comes less than two weeks after WSU fired Ken Bone, and it comes as little surprise given the speculation that Kent was a strong possibility because of his connection to athletic director Bill Moos. The two worked together at Oregon, where Kent compiled a 235-174 record, won one Pac-12 regular-season title and made five NCAA Tournament appearances in 13 seasons as the Ducks’ head coach.
“I am excited that Ernie will be the leader of our men’s basketball program,” Moos said in a university press release. “I have witnessed firsthand his many talents. He has proven that he can win championships in our conference. Together we saw tremendous success at his alma mater and I have every reason to expect to see the same at mine.”
Before he was hired at Oregon, his alma mater, Kent coached at St. Mary’s College from 1991-1997. He last coached during the 2009-2010 season and has since been working as a television analyst for Fox Sports Net and then Pac-12 Networks.
“I’m looking forward to providing the kind of passion and leadership to help potential student-athletes understand how special WSU is,” Kent said in the press release. “Getting back into coaching for me has meant finding the right program that matches up with my passion, my vision, my beliefs and my commitment; and I feel Washington State University fits all that criteria for me. Bill Moos has a vision and has created enormous energy around Cougar Athletics and I want to be a part of that. Now is the time.”