Ernie Kent led Oregon as a player and as a Coach from 1997-2010. He then turned to television and worked for the Pac-12 Network for several years. He made numerous appearances in Eugene at Matthew Knight Arena covering games, as well as being a part of the Pac-12 Playbook on the network. His former boss with Oregon, Bill Moss has made an interesting move for the coming years. Now with Washington State he hired Kent yesterday as the next Head Basketball Coach for the Cougars. (When the schedule comes out for next season there will certainly be a few dates to circle on the schedule.)
The deal is for five years. Kent has a career record of 325-254(.561) and has 19 years of coaching experience, 13 with Oregon. He led the Ducks to the NCAA Tournament five times (2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008) and to the NIT Twice(1999, 2004). Oregon reached the NIT Final Four both years. Off the court he did work as well, including having the Ducks as the top school in the then Pac-10 for the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate. He also had a hand in helping four young men become first round draft picks in the NBA and became the winningest coach in the history of Oregon.
Kent will have some work to do over the coming years for the Washington State Cougars. This past season they were 10-21 overall and were 3-15 in the Pac-12 Conference. When the former Oregon Coach left the Ducks it was as amicable as it could have been. He was even given a press conference. It will be interesting to see how things progress and how quickly Kent can turn things around up north. His introductory press conference as Washington State’s 18th Head Coach is Wednesday.
(FYI: This is not an April Fool’s Day Joke)