PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington
State University and Director of Athletics Bill Moos will introduce
veteran head coach Ernie Kent as the 18th Cougar men's basketball head
coach during a press conference Wednesday, April 2 at 2 p.m. PDT at
Beasley Coliseum. Kent was signed to a five-year roll over contract.
Terms of the deal are unavailable.
"I am excited that Ernie will be the leader of our men's basketball
program," Moos said. "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."
With 19 years of head coaching experience, Kent spent 13 years as the
head coach at his alma mater, Oregon, beginning with the 1997-98 season
until the 2009-10 season. He's spent the last two seasons as a college
basketball analyst for Pac-12 Networks after four years as an analyst
for Fox Sports Net. He served as both an in-game analyst and was on the
studio show, Pac-12 Playbook: Basketball, on the Pac-12 Networks since
the show's inception in 2012-13, the first year of the 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. "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.
"As a player I saw the energetic environment that George Raveling's
teams created, as an assistant I witnessed Kelvin Sampson's squads and
saw the magic here and as a head coach I saw the excitement created by
Tony Bennett. When WSU is having success, Beasley Coliseum is one of
the best environments in the West. The students are so passionate, I
saw 5,000 of them out there ready to go during warm-ups, one of the few
places I've ever witnessed that. When you've seen that arena full and
the program was at its best and now you have the opportunity to lead
that program and you understand the potential that exists, that is very
special to me."
Kent has also been involved with the National Association of Basketball
Coaches (NABC) as he was the president during the 2011-12 season and is
currently the associate executive director of the NABC.
Kent has a 325-254 (.561) mark as a head coach, having spent six
seasons at the helm for Saint Mary's in Moraga, Calif., and 13 at
In his 13 years at Oregon, Kent compiled a 235-174 (.575) record and a
109-125 (.466) conference mark. His 109 conference wins rank 17th most
in Pac-12 history (including Pacific-8 and Pacific-10 Conferences).
While at Oregon, Kent led the Ducks to seven postseason appearances,
including five NCAA Tournament Appearances (2000, 2002, 2003, 2007,
2008) as well as a Pac-10 regular-season (2002) and two
conference tournament (2003, 2007) titles.
Kent took two Oregon teams to the NCAA Elite Eight (2002 and 2007) and
guided the Ducks to the NIT Final Four on two occasions (1999, 2004).
Kent helped produce four NBA First Round Draft selections and became
Oregon's all-time wins leader. He was named the 2002 Pac-10 Coach of
the Year, while the NABC, USBWA and Basketball Times all recognized him
as their district coach of the year, and he was one of 20 Naismith
Coach of the Year finalists that season.
Under Kent's direction, the Duck men's basketball team ranked No. 1
amongst Pac-10 schools in the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate several
times throughout his head coaching career.
As the head coach at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, Calif., from
1991-92 to 1996-97, Kent put together a 90-80 ledger, including a 23-8
mark in 1996-97 and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The tournament bid,
the first at the school since 1989, was the result of the Gaels' fourth
conference title in school history. Kent also guided the Gaels to an
18-10 mark in 1994-95 and still ranks second on the all-time win chart
at Saint Mary's.
"Ernie Kent comes to WSU with sterling credentials and the necessary
skill set to take the basketball program to higher levels of
achievement," former Washington State head coach George Raveling
(1973-83) said. "He has been a part of the growth of the Pac-12 from
eight teams to 10 teams and now to 12 teams, he has lived the history
and growth of the conference. Ernie clearly understands what it takes
to achieve success in one the most difficult conferences in the
country. Congratulations to 'Cougar Nation,' I'm excited about the
selection and wish Ernie nothing but success."
Kent served as an assistant at Stanford under Mike Montgomery for two
years (1990-91), helping the Cardinal advance to the NIT both years and
winning the NIT title in 1991.
As an assistant to Boyd Grant at Colorado State (1988-1989), Kent
helped aid the Rams in their postseason bids in the 1988 NIT (advancing
to the semifinals) and 1989 NCAA Tournament second round after
clinching the Western Athletic Conference championship.
From 1980 through 1987, Kent lived in Saudi Arabia where he coached the
al-Khaleej Club in Sayhat for three years, helping the team advance to
the playoffs each year. He also worked for the Arabian American Oil
Company in Dhahran.
Kent began his coaching career at his alma mater in 1977 as the
freshman coach under Dick Harter and again assisted in 1979 as an
understudy to Jim Haney. In between, he coached Eugene's O'Hara
Catholic School for one season.
Kent has served as head coach, assistant coach and committee member for
USA Basketball, winning a pair of gold medals in 2001 and 2003. He has
coached some of the world's greatest players, including NBA All-Stars
and 2008 Olympic gold medalists Carmelo Anthony, Carlos Boozer, Chris
Bosh, Andre Iguodala and Deron Williams.
A 1977 graduate of Oregon with a degree in community service and public
affairs, Kent averaged 7.1 points and 1.8 rebounds during his four-year
basketball career with the Ducks (1974-77). He helped lead his team to
a No. 8 ranking during his sophomore season. In his time as a
student-athlete at UO, Kent was recognized with the Outstanding Service
Award for community service and picked up the March of Dimes
Outstanding Achievement Award.
A Parade Magazine All-American in 1973 at Rockford, Ill., West High
School, he was also named Scholastic All-America by Scholastic
Magazine. A National Honor Society member, Kent received the American
Legion Outstanding Achievement Award and was named all-state in
Illinois and recently inducted into the Rockford Public Schools
Athletics Hall of Fame.
Via WSU Athletics Communications