Ernie Kent Out At Oregon

Posted by jstevrtc on March 7th, 2010

Oregon head coach Ernie Kent has been fired, according to a report from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.  The first report about this actually surfaced during the second half of the Ducks’ Senior Day game against Washington State — which they won, by the way, 74-66 — from Eugene’s KVAL-TV, who reported that Oregon A.D. Mike Bellotti had already told the coach that he wouldn’t be leading the Ducks next year.

During his time at UO, Kent has posted a 234-172 record.  This is his 13th season at the helm.  Kent has taken Oregon to the NCAA Tournament five times, reaching the Elite 8 in 2002 and 2007.

It’s assumed that Kent will indeed coach the team through the Pac-10 Tournament, so now thoughts turn to whom his replacement could be.  Back in January, FoxSports.com’s Jeff Goodman had named Kent as a coach who was sitting on a 300-degree hot seat this season, and today raised the possibilities of Gonzaga’s Mark Few and Minnesota’s Tubby Smith as candidates for the Oregon job.  Few’s name is brought up for just about every major coaching vacancy within 15 minutes of the opening being announced, but there’s a small new wrinkle, here — Few was born in Oregon and graduated from UO in 1987.  In case you’re wondering whether or not Oregon could attract such heavy-hitters in the college basketball coaching ranks, consider these two items:  1) Oregon has a brand new arena opening up next year, and 2) it’s only natural that Nike chairman Phil Knight — a UO grad and a member of the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame for “Special Contribution to Sports” in Oregon — would be involved, whether overtly or secretly, in the selection process.  And when you talk about Nike and Phil Knight getting involved…suddenly, anything is possible.

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3 Responses to “Ernie Kent Out At Oregon”

  1. You can’t drop three of four to Oregon State. That will get just about any coach in the conference fired right now.

  2. Andrew says:

    Now there’s a surprise… Or not…

    I can’t imagine Tubby going there. I had the chance to talk with Minnesota’s AD quite a bit at the 76 Classic, and he seemed to think that Minnesota would be Tubby’s last job. Of course, that may be wishful thinking on his part, but I tend to believe it…

    As for Few, I think he is intent on getting the Zags to the Final Four… While Oregon would be one of the very small handful of jobs that he would consider leaving for, I don’t think he’ll go before the Zags get to the F4.

    Other names? Tough one, but I know Knight will try to go big. Alford? Drew? How about Reveno at Portland as a fallback if all the big boys reject him…

  3. rtmsf says:

    My first thought prior to Goodman’s tweet was Reveno or maybe Randy Bennett at St. Mary’s.

    Agreed on Tubby – it’s at best a lateral move and Minny already makes him one of the highest paid coaches in America. Same thing for Few, although he has been at Gonzaga long enough to probably know whether he can get a F4 there or not. I think he’d at least listen, but ultimately stay in Spokane.

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