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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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WSU assistants get raises


We have a short story for tomorrow concerning the salaries of Ken Bone's three main assistants, Jeff Hironoka, Ben Johnson and Curtis Allen. The group is making quite a bit more than Tony Bennett's three main assistants made last year. For the unedited version, read on.

• Here's the short story on the salaries. Sorry to say I have no comment from head coach Ken Bone, who was unavailable today.

PULLMAN – Though salaries in the Washington State University men's basketball program are still in the basement of the Pac-10, they're trending upward.

Especially for first-year head coach Ken Bone's assistants.

Bone recently agreed to a seven-year contract that will pay him at least $625,000 in his first year, about $400,000 less than his predecessor, Tony Bennett earned in his third, and final, year as head coach before heading to the University of Virginia.

But Bone's three assistants, holdover Ben Johnson and newcomers Jeff Hironoka and Curtis Allen, will be making more than the previous group.

Johnson, who has been at WSU for five years, earned $110,00 in the 2008 contract year, the same as Bennett's other assistants, Matt Woodley and Ron Sanchez.

Under his new contract, recently made available to The Spokesman-Review through a public records request, Johnson will earn $115,000. He also earned a $10,000 supplement to his 2008 salary in April after being the only assistant in the basketball office for a month.

Hironoka, who was the head coach at Seattle Pacific for seven years after serving as Bone's main assistant there for 11, will earn even more this season, $120,000, which is double what Bennett's assistants were making just two years ago.

Allen, the least experienced member of the staff, having been with Bone at Portland State for the past four years, will earn $90,000.

Efforts to reach Bone for comment Friday were unsuccessful.


• That's it for tonight. We'll be back in the morning with a post, then we are leaving on vacation. I'll let you know where I'm headed. Until then ...

Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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