Kyle Smith receives 6 year contract to become men’s basketball head coach

San Francisco coach is coming to Pullman on six year 8.4 million contract

DYLAN GREENE, Evergreen deputy sports editor

University of San Francisco’s Kyle Smith has agreed to a six year contract to become WSU’s next men’s basketball head coach and will be paid $1.4 million annually.

Smith will be formerly introduced during a press conference Monday.

“We set a goal of finding the best head coach for Washington State University,” Athletic Director Pat Chun said in a WSU news release. “Kyle Smith fulfilled all of our criteria in meeting this goal. Coach Smith has a proven record of success, a commitment to academic excellence and a passion for developing every aspect of his student-athletes.”

Smith was the only person offered the job, according to The Spokesman-Review.

“I was really impressed during the hiring process with Pat [Chun] and his team,” Smith said in the release. “Being married to a Washingtonian myself, it really felt like home, there was just a lot of synergy in the room.”

Smith has coached the Dons the past three seasons and led them to 20 or more wins each year. Prior to San Francisco, he was the head coach at Columbia for six years where he compiled a 101-82 overall record.

This past season, Smith led the Dons to a 21-10 record and victories over Cal and Stanford. The team finished the year with a loss to Pepperdine in the first round of the West Coast Conference Tournament.

Smith will become the Cougars 19th head coach after Ernie Kent was fired March 14, a day after the team lost to Oregon by 33 points in the Pac-12 Tournament.

In order to buy out the rest of Kent’s contract, WSU will have to pay Kent $4.2 million over the next three years or $1.4 million annually.

Kent had an overall record of 58-98 during his five years with the Cougars and the team never finished above .500 in any of their seasons under him. He also failed to advance WSU past the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.