Washington State University has parted ways with head men's basketball coach Ernie Kent after five seasons.
College Basketball Insider Jon Rothstein first broke the news on Kent, which was later confirmed through WSU sources by both SWX's Sam Adams and our partners at the Spokesman-Review.
The Cougars will begin a national search for his replacement immediately.
“I met with Ernie earlier today and let him know I would be making a change in the leadership of our basketball program,” said WSU Director of Athletics Pat Chun in an official release. “We appreciate all that Ernie has done for Washington State but at this time we need a new direction to energize our fan base and return the program to prominence. I am optimistic that our returning students-athletes give us an immediate opportunity to move our program in a positive trajectory.”
WSU is coming off of a 11-21 season with a 4-15 mark in Pac-12 Conference play that concluded Wednesday evening with an 84-51 loss to Oregon in the league tournament.
The Cougars were 58-98 under Kent with a 22-69 mark in Pac-12 play, and the team never eclipsed 13 wins in a season.
Kent had three years remaining on his $1.4 million per-year salary, and a source says he will be paid out $4.2 million by the university per the terms of his contract.
Sources: Washington State has parted ways with Ernie Kent.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 15, 2019
Confirmed through sources at WSU: Washington State has parted ways with Ernie Kent. Announcement and release expected within the hour from university.— Sam Adams SWX (@SamAdamsTV) March 15, 2019
Per source, Ernie Kent will be paid out by #WSU per the terms of his contract. Kent was earning $1.4 million annually and had three years remaining. The university will pay him $4.2 million.— Theo Lawson (@TheoLawson_SR) March 15, 2019