The five-year tenure for Ernie Kent at Washington State has mercifully come to an end, according to multiple reports.
In his five seasons in Pullman, the Cougars have never won more than 13 games and they have an overall win percentage of 37.2% and they have routinely been one of, if not the worst team in the conference on a season-by-season basis.
It’s not too surprising that this move was made given the state of the program, but it is a little surprising in the sense that Washington State isn’t flush with cash in the athletic department, so part of me thought they would hold onto him at least another season simply so they would be responsible for less of a buyout.
Under former Athletic Director Bill Moos, Kent had a contract that was set to go through 2022 and was going to pay him $1.4 million per season, so that is something that Washington State will be responsible for paying at least a good amount of, even if Kent and the school come to some sort of settlement.
On top of the continuous embarrassing performance on the court, apathy had set in with the fan base as they were averaging about a 400-fan decrease per game over the last three seasons, and that’s announced attendance. If you saw any of their home games you know that the actual attendance was nowhere near the announced attendance.
It’s hard to know where Washington State will go next because they don’t have the deepest pockets. My guess is they will go with a mid-major coach that is looking to move up and won’t be too expensive, and in my opinion that’s what they should do. There’s so much apathy around the program that they shouldn’t worry about hiring a coach who might leave with success a la Tony Bennett.
In my opinion they should also hire a coach who focuses on player development and X’s and O’s and isn’t known first as a recruiter, because you’re likely never going to get top talent to Pullman regardless of who is recruiting.
This will be an interesting situation to watch because Washington State has been as bad as any power-five program could possibly be over the past number of seasons.
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