Kent out as Washington St. coach after 5 years

Washington State has parted ways with head coach Ernie Kent after five seasons, the school announced Thursday night.

Kent, 64, took over in Pullman in 2014 and failed to finish .500 in any of his five seasons in charge. The Cougars finished tied for eighth in the Pac-12 in Kent's first year and never finished higher than 10th place since then.

Kent was 47-77 entering this season, and Washington State finished 11-21 overall and 4-14 in the Pac-12.

"I met with Ernie earlier today and let him know I would be making a change in the leadership of our basketball program," athletic director Pat Chun said in a statement. "We appreciate all that Ernie has done for Washington State but at this time we need a new direction to energize our fan base and return the program to prominence. I am optimistic that our returning students-athletes give us an immediate opportunity to move our program in a positive trajectory."

The Cougars' season ended Wednesday night with an 84-51 loss to Oregon in the Pac-12 tournament.

Washington State hasn't reached the NCAA tournament since 2008, when Tony Bennett was at the helm.