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WSU Men's Basketball

Washington State adds year to men’s basketball coach Ernie Kent’s contract

Washington State head coach Ernie Kent received an extra year on his contract. (Young Kwak / AP)

PULLMAN – Washington State athletic director Bill Moos has enacted a rollover clause in men’s basketball coach Ernie Kent’s contract, keeping Kent in Pullman at least five more years.

Moos has rolled over Kent’s contract following each of Kent’s three seasons at Washington State, effectively making it a continuous five-year contract. Kent’s fully guaranteed contract pays him $1.4 million annually, in addition to standard fringe benefits and incentives.

Moos said he is pleased with the progress of the men’s basketball program under Kent, who landed his first four-star recruit on Monday, and reaffirmed his confidence in Kent by saying he would never issue an ultimatum that the team make a postseason tournament for the coach to continue to receive contract rollovers.

“I don’t operate that way,” Moos said. “I take a look at it and discuss it after each season and evaluate things at that point. To be quite frank, in men’s basketball I thought we made great strides in a season where the league was extremely tough. But most importantly, we’ve had a real good recruiting year and we’ve made some changes in the staff that I think will energize that program and also continue to boost us in recruiting.”

Kent recently hired former Garfield High coach Ed Haskins, who is expected to help recruit prospects in the Seattle region. He still has one vacant assistant coaching position after Greg Graham and Silvey Dominguez left the program following last season.

The Cougars went 13-18 during the 2016-17 season, which included a 6-12 mark in Pac-12 play that was a considerable improvement from the previous year’s 1-17 record.

The Cougars lost four starters off that team, including longtime leaders Ike Iroegbu and Josh Hawkinson, but they return point guard Malachi Flynn after a promising freshman season. In addition, Kent has spoken highly of guard Milan Acquaah, who redshirted last year with an injury.