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Sanchez leaving WSU


COUGARS

One of the unanswered questions of the past week is the fate of Tony Bennett’s staff and the makeup of Ken Bone’s. For some news on that front, read on.

It was a crowded Tuesday at WSU

COUGARS • UPDATED: 10:30 A.M.

The Ken Bone Era is underway at Washington State University. Let the sophomoric jokes begin. Wait, they already have. Want proof? Just tool around the WSU blogosphere. Couldn’t see that coming, could you? Oh well. Maybe it will die down by October. Anyhow, we have links. Read on.

WSU introduces Bone


COUGARS • UPDATED: 7:15 P.M.

Just wanted to give you a spot to comment if you had a chance to watch the introductory press conference with Ken Bone. We’ll be back later with our story about it, but until then this post is yours.

• UPDATE: We’re back with the unedited version of our story that will appear in tomorrow’s S-R. Read on.

Today WSU throws Bone a party


COUGARS

In another week the hoopla will have all died down. Sixty-degree days will be the norm. Spring football will be hitting the dog days. Normality will return to the campus. But today Washington State will throw a welcome-to-Pullman party for Ken Bone, the Cougars’ new basketball coach. They’ll let him step in front of the television cameras and the rest of the assembled Eastern Washington media and give Cougar Nation a chance to meet the guy who’ll be on the bench next season. Then, when everyone’s packed their gear and headed for the airport or 195, Bone will get down to work. He’ll start filling his staff, talking with returning players, re-wooing recruits, finding a house, all that quiet stuff one does after taking a new job. But today is for the noise. Before we put in the ear plugs – heck, I’m too old for a party – let’s do some linking. Read on.

WSU will introduce Bone Tuesday

COUGARS • UPDATED: 7:40 P.M.

It’s over. As you read here first, Washington State has made its hire. Ken Bone will be the guy who has to replace Tony Bennett. Or gets to if you prefer. I had a basketball coach friend who always said, “You don’t want to be the guy to replace the guy. You want to be the guy who replaces the guy who replaced the guy.” But Bone is the former, and he’ll be introduced to everyone tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. in a WSU press conference. We’ll be there. Read on for an unedited version of the story we’ll have in tomorrow’s S-R, though it may be updated before then …

UPDATE: We’ve added some comments Bone made to the Oregonian before he left Portland. They are interspersed in the story.

WSU Offers Basketball Job To Bone

Portland State coach Ken Bone and players celebrate a win against Montana State in an NCAA college basketball game at the Big Sky men’s basketball tournament March 11 in Ogden, Utah. Portland State won 79-77. Bone has accepted the offer to replace Tony Bennett as head coach of Washington State. Story here. (AP Photo/Steve C. Wilson)

Question: Are you happy with the WSU choice to replace former basketball coach Tony Bennett?

Bone accepts WSU basketball job


COUGARS• UPDATED: 2 P.M.

UPDATE: Washington State University has a new basketball coach. Portland State’s Ken Bone accepted the position today, The Spokesman-Review has learned. Sources close to the situation said Bone, 50, has been the focus of the week-long search to replace Tony Bennett, who left after three years as WSU coach to take the same position at the University of Virginia.

Bone has been at PSU for four years, posting a 77-49 record and taking the Vikings to the NCAA Tournament as the Big Sky Conference’s representative the past two seasons. If Bone accepts the position, and all indications are he will, it will mean athletics director Jim Sterk has dipped into that conference for his last two major hires, football coach Paul Wulff (Eastern Washington) and Bone.

Sterk came to WSU from Portland State, but his path did not cross Bone’s there. They were both, however, at Seattle Pacific during Bone’s tenure as Falcons’ head coach, though only for a single year. At the NCAA Division II school, Bone posted a 253-97 in 12 seasons between 1990 and 2002. Bone left SPU to assist Lorenzo Romar at Washington before taking the Portland State position. We’ll have more on this soon …

Another day in Paradise, WSU style


COUGARS • UPDATE: 10:15 A.M.

Spring is here. Too bad there isn’t a spring football practice scheduled for today. Being outside would be a good thing with the sun shining and the temperatures hitting the high 60s. But no. It’s another day of hitting the phones, trying to get you the latest on the basketball coaching search. Read on.

• UPDATE: University of Alabama-Birmingham coach Mike Davis decided to withdraw his name from the Washington State men’s basketball coaching search. The former Indiana coach interviewed Saturday in Detroit and told friends he was expecting a decision soon. But Monday morning Davis decided to drop his pursuit of the WSU position. We’ll have more on this later. Also, here’s a quote from Ken Bone on the opportunity. And coreyb, thanks for the link on Stew Morrill.

Another WSU search update


COUGARS

We’re calling it a night. One of the candidates expressed the opinion WSU’s search for a men’s basketball coach would come to a conclusion tonight, but as far as we can discern, that hasn’t been the case. Which, of course, doesn’t mean the job wasn’t offered to someone today. It just means we aren’t privy to the decision. Of course, if it was offered and the coach that received said offer wanted to contact us, we would be more than … OK, that’s just not going to work. Anyhow, we put together a short story with some developments we could verify. Nothing major, but a couple of interesting tidbits from near and far. Read on.

Great day for WSU to interview candidates


COUGARS • UPDATED: 8:30 P.M.

It’s Sunday in the Northwest and it may just be the most beautiful day of the year thus far. Days like these are the reason most of us live here. That and our jobs. And our families. And the mortgage. Anyhow, it’s another perfect day in paradise. And another day in Washington State’s basketball coaching search. Is this the final day? Probably not, but it could be. There was talk, from athletic director Jim Sterk the night Tony Bennett left, that he would like to have a new coach in place in a week, two at the most. It will be a week at 2 p.m. tomorrow. Read on for links.

UPDATE: Just a heads up that we’ve been working on a story for tomorrow’s S-R and don’t want to post it until we’re sure there won’t be any more changes tonight. We’ll get it up when we can.

More on WSU coaching search


COUGARS

We’ve been working the phones tonight trying to run down as much as we possibly can on the search for a new basketball coach. Check the link for the unedited version of the story we will have in tomorrow’s S-R..

WSU closer to hire


COUGARS

A quick post to update you on the basketball coaching search. Jim Sterk, John Johnson and Anne McCoy are on their way back from Detroit having finished their interviews there, according to a source. We are sure they interviewed UAB’s Mike Davis along with at least two others, Portland State’s Ken Bone and, according to the Birmingham paper, former Phoenix Suns coach Terry Porter, though when and where is still unclear. We have been told one other possible candidate, but we haven’t been able to confirm it so we’re not passing that on until we are sure. If we get anymore tonight, we’ll pass it on. You can find pretty much the same information here.

WSU coaching search in Michigan

COUGARS

Quite a bit to get to, so let’s get right to it. Then we’ll head out to Rogers Field for a morning practice with the football team. Read on.

WSU to interview Davis


COUGARS

Sources in Pullman and Birmingham confirm Washington State University will interview current Alabama-Birmingham and former Indiana University men’s basketball coach Mike Davis on Saturday for the Cougars open head coaching position.

Davis has been at UAB for three seasons, amassing a 60-38 record there. This season, the Blazers finished 22-12, 11-5 and third in Conference USA. They received an NIT bid, losing in the first round at Notre Dame. Before taking over from Mike Anderson at UAB, Davis succeeded Bobby Knight at Indiana in 2000, taking the Hoosiers to the 2002 NCAA championship game, where they lost to Maryland. After a 19-12 record in 2005-06, Davis resigned at Indiana. The Hoosiers were 115-79 in Davis’ six years.

Washington State athletic director Jim Sterk and associate athletic directors John Johnson and Anne McCoy are at the NCAA Final Four in Detroit. The interview with Davis will take place there.

Morning links from WSU


COUGARS • UPDATED: 2 P.M.

A couple of links for you this morning, but not much more than what’s already been on here for a while. Read on.

Bennett talks about his decision to leave WSU

COUGARS

I don’t like being coy, but working in a competitive arena, didn’t feel like I could say much more this morning. Late last night I was able to talk with former Washington State University basketball coach Tony Bennett about his decision to leave the Palouse and head to Virginia. I’ve put together a story based on his answers to our questions. I also have some more SportsLink-only material. Read on.

Catching up with WSU news


COUGARS

We’re going to do this quickly this morning because we have a lot on our plate today. We will have an exclusive interview for you today that we put together past deadline last night. And then there’s all the other stuff going on at Washington State, from a coaching search to spring football. We have links for you if you read on.

An injury at WSU

COUGARS

We have a couple of stories in tomorrow’s paper, one on football and one basketball related. Read on for the unedited version of each, along with some web-only notes.

As Bennett moves on, WSU searches for future


COUGARS

Another interesting day dawns in Pullman in this, the post-Tony Bennett era. Bennett will have has introductory press conference in Charlottesville, Virginia today – makes one wonder what Thomas Jefferson, the founder of the University of Virginia, would think of all this – and he’ll be off and running with his new job. Here in Pullman, the athletic department senior staff is working the phones as they move forward in hiring a replacement. And, lest we forget, the football team is on Rogers Field this afternoon building the foundation for the fall. Read on.

Tony Bennett Departs For Virginia

Former Washington State head basketball Coach Tony Bennett gives the “Thumbs up” sign to fans and media standing behind a wire fence and calling his name, before he boarded a private jet leaving Pullman on Monday at the Moscow-Pullman Airport. A small number of Washington State Basketball fans turned out to see the former coach one last time before he headed east shortly after announcing his departure from WSU. Bennett will take the job of head coach at the University of Virginia. Tyler Tjomsland/Spokesman-Review.

ECoug01: Tony Bennett Is An A-Rod

ECoug01: Tony has A-rodded us. … I am so pissed. Don’t tell us how much you love pullman, want to build a program, raise kids and have no desire to leave, sign an extension for 1 million bucks in pullman (which is equivalent to 2 mill in seattle at least) and then drop us a year later. If you are going to hit the road do it last year when I was prepared you would probably use WSU as a stepping stone to bigger schools. No more WSU legend in the works, no more hall of fame.

Question: Do you agree with ECoug01 that Tony Bennett has pulled an A-Rod — or Dennis Erickson, for that matter — taking the money, prestige, and running? Or is he something better than that?

WSU still reeling over Bennett decision

COUGARS• UPDATED: 11:45 A.M.; 3:55 P.M.

The nature of the news, the suddenness of it all, is what hit Cougar nation in between the eyes. After dodging the bullet last year, when Indiana, LSU and Marquette all came a courting, WSU fans were pretty sure men’s basketball coach Tony Bennett was staying in Pullman for another year, and probably two more, as he rebuilt a program once again suffering from a lack of upper-class bodies and talent. But the news came quickly just after noon Monday. Heck, athletic director Jim Sterk, who, along with school president Elson J. Floyd, met with Bennett over the weekend to discuss Virginia’s offer, thought the bullet had whizzed by once again and he was out of town with his family. Then came the early afternoon phone call, the team meeting and, before the sun set on the Palouse, Bennett was on a jet toward his future in the Atlantic Coast Conference, six years and one day after he arrived with his father Dick. Read on for thoughts and links.

• UPDATE: Virginia makes it official. You can read the release here.

UPDATE NO. 2: USD coach Bill Grier, mentioned by Sterk as someone he wants to talk with, told the San Diego Union Tribune today he wasn’t interested in the WSU position.

Bennett leaving WSU for Virginia


COUGARS • UPDATED: 10:20 P.M.

Just finished talking with some of the players and it’s true. Tony Bennett is leaving Washington State University to become the head basketball coach at the University of Virginia. The players are shocked, the administration is shocked, the assistant coaches are shocked. We will have more soon. You can read the news here. UPDATE: We have updated our story with the latest version all night (you can find it on the link above). We’ll have more on Bennett’s decision and the search for his replacement in the morning. Until then …

WSU’s Tony Bennett Going To Virginia

Tony Bennett, who led Washington State to its first appearance in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament in 2008, will be named head coach at Virginia. Washington State director of athletics Jim Sterk confirmed that Bennett has accepted the head-coaching position at Virginia on Tuesday. “Dick and Tony Bennett have elevated the men’s basketball program at Washington State to an unprecedented level of success,” Sterk said in a statement released by the university. “We will begin a national search for a coach immediately with the goal of finding someone with the integrity, experience, and values that Dick and Tony brought to the program”/ESPN. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that successful WSU basketball coach Tony Bennett is moving on?

WSU has an efficient start to spring


COUGARS

Good morning. Washington State opened spring practice yesterday afternoon with a spirited and actually quite efficient – considering it was the first day – workout. Read on for more thoughts.

WSU news on a spring day


COUGARS

An action-packed morning awaits on the World Wide Web, Washington State style. There are stories. There are comments. There are millions and millions of words dedicated to the Cougars. OK, I exaggerate. But there are a few. Read on.

WSU will be young next season

COUGARS

We did a football story tonight (and posted it here). And we finished up our look at the basketball season. It’s not just a look back, of course. It’s also a look ahead. Read on.

One more day to WSU spring football


COUGARS

We actually have some WSU news. And, being Paul Wulff is holding a spring football news conference this afternoon – and we will have a story on that plus more – it will be a busy day here at SportsLink, WSU edition. Read on.

WSU shows its smarts


COUGARS

A couple Pac-10 notes. The conference announced its all-academic men’s basketball team and the next commissioner. And no, Condoleeza Rice was not mentioned in either release. Read on.