Kent Back In Coaching

Rockford native Ernie Kent is the new men's basketball coach at Washington State.
ROCKFORD-Rockford native Ernie Kent is back in coaching. Monday he was named the head men's basketball coach at Washington State University.

Kent had been the head coach at Oregon from 1997 to 2010. He became that school's all-time winningest coach. He guided the Ducks to two PAC-12 Championships and five NCAA Tournament births. Twice the Ducks reached the Elite 8. But Kent was fired after the Cubs went 8-23 in 2009 and 16-16 in 2010.

Before coaching at Oregon he was the head coach at Saint Mary's in Moraga, California for six seasons.

Kent spent the past six years as a basketball analyst on television for the Pac-12 Network and for Fox Sports Net.

Washington State released the following statement from Kent Monday.

“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 will be introduced at a press conference Wednesday.

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