Ernie Kent Out At OregonPosted 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.