In a move that made perfect logical sense and yet still came as a bit of a surprise, Washington State Cougars basketball coach Ernie Kent will not see a sixth season in Pullman after being fired by athletics director Pat Chun.
Kent was hired following the 2013-14 season by previous athletics director Bill Moos, who had employed him during their time together with the Oregon Ducks.
Both Moos and Kent promised big returns on a big investment: Kent’s annual salary was nearly twice what his predecessor, Ken Bone, was being paid at the time he was fired, and the five-year, fully guaranteed contract was worth $7 million total.
Beyond the fact that the contract was the biggest in WSU basketball history by a long shot, it also seemed from the start to be an overpay, given that Kent had been out of coaching for four years after flaming out in Eugene.
Then after a 13-win campaign in which WSU lost 13 of its last 17 games, Moos surprisingly extended Kent again, bringing the contract length to a minimum of eight fully guaranteed years.