WSU Names Ernie Kent New Head Basketball Coach - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WSU Names Ernie Kent New Head Basketball Coach

Ernie Kent at the NCAA Tournament in San Diego, Calif. before he was hired as WSU's new head basketball coach. Ernie Kent at the NCAA Tournament in San Diego, Calif. before he was hired as WSU's new head basketball coach.

by WSU Athletics 

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 Oregon.

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.

  • College

    • Photo: Whitworth Athletics

      Joial Griffith named as Whitworth's new women's basketball coach

      Whitworth is coming off a 10-15 record in 2017-18.  Griffith takes over for Higgs, who won 361 games in 24 years leading the Pirates and ranked 48th in total victories among active Division III coaches at the time of her retirement.

    • Photo: Washington State Athletics

      Cougars fall 4-2 at No. 3 Stanford

      WSU (15-31-1, 7-19-1 Pac-12) outhit Stanford 10-6 but the Cardinal (43-8, 21-6 Pac-12) used three straight two-out hits in the sixth inning to even the game and take a 4-2 lead.

    • Photo: Gonzaga Athletics

      Gonzaga falls 4-3 against Santa Clara on Senior Day

      Gonzaga will be back in action on Thursday at the WCC Tournament at a time to be determined. Live coverage will be available on GoZags.com.

    • Gonzaga Runs Away Early in 9-0 Win Over Santa Clara

      SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga baseball posted nine runs in the first two innings and Alek Jacob struck out 12 on the way to a 9-0 shutout win over Santa Clara on Saturday night. The win moved Gonzaga to 29-21 overall and 16-10 in the West Coast Conference, and kept them within one game of Pepperdine for the league lead. The Waves beat Portland 6-2 to hold on to the top spot. On Sunday, a Gonzaga win and Pepperdine loss would clinch the No. 1 seed...

    • WSU Athletics

      Cougars comeback falls short; WSU loses to No. 3 Stanford 9-6

      WSU Athletics STANFORD, Calif. – Washington State brought the tying run on deck after scoring six runs in the ninth inning but No. 3 Stanford held on for a 9-6 victory at Sunken Diamond Saturday afternoon.   WSU (15-30-1, 7-18-1 Pac-12) received two-hit games from Andres Alvarez, Dillon Plew and Brody Barnum. Blake Clanton had a three-run triple as part of a six-run ninth inning for the Cougars who saw the game's final out made after Barnum singled to right field to drive ...
    • Gonzaga baseball clinches WCC Tournament berth with 5-3 win over Santa Clara

      Gonzaga baseball took care of business with a solid start from Daniel Bies and four home runs in a 5-3 win over Santa Clara Friday night that clinched a berth in next week’s four-team WCC Tournament. 

    • Photo: Twitter/@WSUCougFB

      Washington State adds three to 2018 signing class

      McDougle (5-11, 295), played the 2017 season at West Virginia where he earned Freshman All-America honors from ESPN.com.

    • Photo: Gonzaga Athletics

      Zags rally for 13-Inning win at WSU

      Gonzaga baseball erased a 2-0 deficit and collected a 13-inning win to take the season series over Washington State on Tuesday night in Pullman, Wash.

    • Photo: Idaho Athletics

      Victor Sanders selected to participate in Draft Combine

      Sanders led the team at 19 points per game as the Vandals finished second in the Big Sky standings last year.  He picked up second team All-Big Sky honors, as well as second team NABC All-District 6 recognition.

    • Photo: WSU Athletics

      WSU men’s basketball signs second JC point guard

      As a sophomore, he was named to the NJCAA Division I All-America second team and was the Mid-Florida Conference Player of the Year, averaging 17.9 points and 4.7 assists.

    More
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Washington St.WSUMore>>

  • Cougars fall 4-2 at No. 3 Stanford

    Cougars fall 4-2 at No. 3 Stanford

    Photo: Washington State AthleticsPhoto: Washington State Athletics
    Photo: Washington State AthleticsPhoto: Washington State Athletics

    WSU (15-31-1, 7-19-1 Pac-12) outhit Stanford 10-6 but the Cardinal (43-8, 21-6 Pac-12) used three straight two-out hits in the sixth inning to even the game and take a 4-2 lead.

    More >>

    WSU (15-31-1, 7-19-1 Pac-12) outhit Stanford 10-6 but the Cardinal (43-8, 21-6 Pac-12) used three straight two-out hits in the sixth inning to even the game and take a 4-2 lead.

    More >>
  • Cougars comeback falls short; WSU loses to No. 3 Stanford 9-6

    Cougars comeback falls short; WSU loses to No. 3 Stanford 9-6

    WSU AthleticsWSU Athletics
    WSU AthleticsWSU Athletics
    WSU Athletics STANFORD, Calif. – Washington State brought the tying run on deck after scoring six runs in the ninth inning but No. 3 Stanford held on for a 9-6 victory at Sunken Diamond Saturday afternoon.   WSU (15-30-1, 7-18-1 Pac-12) received two-hit games from Andres Alvarez, Dillon Plew and Brody Barnum. Blake Clanton had a three-run triple as part of a six-run ninth inning for the Cougars who saw the game's final out made after Barnum singled to right field to drive ...More >>
    WSU Athletics STANFORD, Calif. – Washington State brought the tying run on deck after scoring six runs in the ninth inning but No. 3 Stanford held on for a 9-6 victory at Sunken Diamond Saturday afternoon.   WSU (15-30-1, 7-18-1 Pac-12) received two-hit games from Andres Alvarez, Dillon Plew and Brody Barnum. Blake Clanton had a three-run triple as part of a six-run ninth inning for the Cougars who saw the game's final out made after Barnum singled to right field to drive ...More >>
  • Washington State adds three to 2018 signing class

    Washington State adds three to 2018 signing class

    Photo: Twitter/@WSUCougFBPhoto: Twitter/@WSUCougFB
    Photo: Twitter/@WSUCougFBPhoto: Twitter/@WSUCougFB

    McDougle (5-11, 295), played the 2017 season at West Virginia where he earned Freshman All-America honors from ESPN.com.

    More >>

    McDougle (5-11, 295), played the 2017 season at West Virginia where he earned Freshman All-America honors from ESPN.com.

    More >>