WSU

WSU extends men’s basketball coach Kyle Smith through 2026-27

Sep 23, 2021, 7:23 PM | Updated: Sep 25, 2021, 9:59 pm
WSU Kyle Smith...
Head coach Kyle Smith of the WSU Cougars reacts during the first half against the Washington Huskies at Alaska Airlines Arena on Jan. 31, 2021 in Seattle. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — WSU signed men’s basketball coach Kyle Smith to a contract extension Thursday that goes through the 2026-27 season and adds two years to the original contract he was given when he was hired.

Smith was brought in as the replacement for Ernie Kent in March 2019 and quickly brought optimism back to the Cougars program. Washington State has finished .500 or above in each of Smith’s first two seasons. The only other coach to accomplish that in Washington State history was Tony Bennett.

“The rebirth in our men’s basketball program since Kyle arrived two years ago has been remarkable,” athletic director Pat Chun said. “Kyle’s ability to attract and develop top talent has revitalized not only our men’s basketball program, but our fan base as well. The future of Cougar basketball is in good hands under Kyle’s leadership and we are excited he will be a Cougar for many years to come.”

WSU went 16-16 in Smith’s first season in 2019-20 and last season went 14-13. Smith has also brought an influx of talent to Pullman, Washington, with a pair of recruiting classes ranked in the top 60 nationally.

Before moving to the Palouse, Smith spent three seasons as the head coach at San Francisco, where he compiled a record of 63-40.

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