Ernie Kent: Wikis


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Ernie Kent
Ernie Kent during a University of Oregon men's basketball game on March 4, 2010.
Title Head coach
College Oregon
Sport Basketball
Team record 233-172 (.575) (at Oregon)
Born January 22, 1955 (1955-01-22) (age 55)
Place of birth United States Rockford, Illinois
Career highlights
Overall 308-237 (.565)
Pac-10 Tournament Championship (2003, 2007)
Pac-10 Regular Season Championship (2002)
WCC Tournament Championship (1997)
WCC Regular Season Championship (1997)
Pac-10 Coach of the Year (2002)
Playing career
1973–1977 Oregon
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Al-Khaleej (Saudi Arabia)
Colorado State (asst.)
Stanford (asst.)
St. Mary's (CA)

Ernie Kent (born January 22, 1955 in Rockford, Illinois)[1] is the former head men's basketball coach at the University of Oregon. Kent became the Duck's coach replacing Jerry Green following the 1996-97 season.[2] Prior to becoming head coach at Oregon, Kent was an assistant at Stanford University and also coached at St. Mary's as well as abroad in Saudi Arabia.[3]


Basketball player

Kent played for the Oregon Ducks from 1973 to 1977 under head coach Dick Harter.[4] Nicknamed "Million Moves", he was a part of the Kamikaze Kids, known for constant hustle and extremely aggressive play in their attempts to win ball games. Knee injuries ended his collegiate career.[3]

Coaching career


Early coaching career

Between 1980 and 1987, Ernie Kent spent his days in Saudi Arabia coaching basketball for the Al-Khaleej Club.[3] Kent and his wife were immersed in Arab culture, living in a Shiite Muslim village for their first two years,[3] also working for the Arabian American Oil Company in Dhahran.[1] He recalls learning how to be patient, since a translator was required for communication with his team.[3] It was a stressful period of his life and taught him how to deal with extreme pressure.

I worked seven years in Saudi Arabia coaching and my paycheck was on one side of the table and my passport on the other, and they said to me, 'You can't leave and you won't get paid if you don't win.' I think I've handled pressure. I would go to the games and there would be a young Saudi with a submachine gun outside the game. That's pressure. This, this is just basketball.

—Ernie Kent, [5]

After returning to the United States from Saudi Arabia, he became an assistant coach at Colorado State University, then at Stanford University under head coach Mike Montgomery. [6] He later went on to become the head coach at St. Mary's College of California where he remained for six years.[1] While at St. Mary's, Kent's coaching relationship with the players changed drastically. His players told Kent that they could not relate to him due to his militaristic style. From that moment on, Kent reversed his stance and became more compassionate toward his players. He took his players before every season to go to a retreat, where his players bonded with each other, strengthening the cohesiveness of the team,[6] a tradition he continued at the University of Oregon.[7]

University of Oregon

Kent was hired in 1997 to replace Jerry Green, who was leaving for a position at the University of Tennessee,[2] Kent was the first African American head coach to be hired in the history of the Oregon Ducks athletic department regardless of sport.[1] Under Kent, the Ducks reached the NCAA tournament five times, in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, and 2008, reaching the Elite Eight in 2002 and 2007. [8] He also led the Ducks to the National Invitation Tournament Final Four in 1999 and 2004. In the 2002 season, Kent led the team to its first conference title since 1939 despite the Pacific-10 Conference sending a record of six teams into the NCAA tournament.[1] Under Kent, Oregon was known for playing an up-tempo pace and guard-heavy lineups.[9]

As head coach, Kent was known for his recruiting ability, bringing in a class of highly regarded recruits in 2004 such as Maarty Leunen, Bryce Taylor, Chamberlain Oguchi and Malik Hairston.[10][11] He was highly criticized for failing to sign two of the highest profile recruits to come from the state of Oregon for the class of 2007, Kyle Singler and Kevin Love.[5] The following year, he signed the #21 recruiting class.[12] During his tenure, he had four players drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft in Fred Jones, Luke Ridnour, Luke Jackson, and Aaron Brooks.[1]

A decline in the success of his teams between 2004 and 2006, the perceived lack of development of highly-regarded recruits as well as rumors of personal issues led many people to question whether Kent would remain at Oregon after the 2005-2006 season. But after the season, the school's athletic director at the time, Bill Moos, issued a statement affirming his support for Kent.[5] The team regained its composure the following year and finished the season with in the Elite Eight in the 2007 NCAA tournament. Senior point guard Aaron Brooks said that he felt the team let Kent down the previous season for wanting to play in an up-tempo style but not conditioning for it.[5] After the 2008-2009 season when Kent posted his worst record with Oregon, questions whether Kent would be retained resurfaced.[13] Kent remained the head coach,[14] but following a second-to-last finish in the Pac-10 in the 2009–10 season, Kent was fired.[15]

Head coaching record

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
St. Mary's College (West Coast Conference) (1991–1997)
1991-1992 St. Mary's 13-17 4-10 6th
1992-93 St. Mary's 11-16 6-8 6th
1993-94 St. Mary's 13-14 5-9 7th
1994-95 St. Mary's 18-10 10-4 T-2nd
1995-96 St. Mary's 12-15 5-9 7th
1996-97 St. Mary's 23-8 10-4 T-1st NCAA 1st Round
St. Mary's: 90-80 40-44
University of Oregon (Pac 10 Conference) (1998–present)
1997-98 Oregon 13-14 8-10 T-5th
1998-99 Oregon 19-13 8-10 T-5th NIT Semifinals
1999-00 Oregon 22-8 13-5 3rd NCAA 1st Round
2000-01 Oregon 14-14 5-13 T-6th
2001-02 Oregon 26-9 14-4 1st NCAA Elite 8
2002-03 Oregon 23-10 10-8 5th NCAA 1st Round
2003-04 Oregon 18-13 9-9 T-4th NIT Semifinals
2004-05 Oregon 14-13 6-12 T-8th
2005-06 Oregon 15-18 7-11 T-7th
2006-07 Oregon 29-8 11-7 T-3rd NCAA Elite 8
2007-08 Oregon 18-14 9-9 T-5th NCAA 1st Round
2008-09 Oregon 8-23 2-16 10th
2009-10 Oregon 16-16 7-11 T-8th
Oregon: 235-174 102-114
Total: 325-254

      National Champion         Conference Regular Season Champion         Conference Tournament Champion
      Conference Regular Season & Conference Tournament Champion       Conference Division Champion

Personal Life

Ernie Kent was born January 22, 1955 in Rockford, Illinois and is married to Diana and they have three children: Marcus, Jordan, and McKenzie.[1] Jordan Kent was a three-sport letterman for the University of Oregon in track & field, basketball, and football.[16]

With his degree in community service and public affairs, he is also heavily involved in community service in Eugene, earning the 2004 Hope Award from the Oregon Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Kent is also active with the American Cancer Society and the Coaches Versus Cancer campaign while being the honorary chairman of the Children's Miracle Network.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Ernie Kent Biography
  2. ^ a b "Kent named basketball coach at Oregon". Philadelphia Inquirer. 1997-04-11. Retrieved March 27 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Curtis, Jake (2000-02-10). "Kent Revives Oregon Program". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 26 2009. 
  4. ^ Hockaday, Peter (2002-01-10). "All his Ducks in a row". Oregon Daily Emerald. Retrieved March 26 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d Katz, Andy (2007-03-10). "Ken overcomes job, personal issues to triumph". ESPN. Retrieved March 26 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Schrogin, Jonah (2003-05-15). "Kent discusses players, coaching style in lecture". Oregon Daily Emerald. Retrieved March 26 2009. 
  7. ^ Kirkpatrick, Curry (2003-01-23). "Two for One". ESPN the Magazine. Retrieved March 27 2009. 
  8. ^ "Coach Ernie Kent and Oregon agree to new contract". USA Today. 2008-07-18. Retrieved March 27 2009. 
  9. ^ Andrews, Luke (2007-03-19). "Styles clash when Oregon and Florida vie for Final Four berth". Oregon Daily Emerald. Retrieved March 27 2009. 
  10. ^ Schroeder, George (2009-03-21). "Ernie Kent's biggest sales pitch". The Register Guard. Retrieved March 27 2009. 
  11. ^ eDuck Basketball Recruiting class of 2004 commits
  12. ^ Basketball 2008 Recruiting Class Rankings
  13. ^ Schroeder, George (2009-03-20). "Kilkenny, Kent set to meet next week". The Register Guard. Retrieved March 27 2009. 
  14. ^ "Kent stays as Oregon's coach, hires Arizona's Dunlap as top assistant". April 1, 2009. Retrieved April 1, 2009. 
  15. ^ Hunt, John (March 16, 2010). "It’s official: Ernie Kent fired". The Register-Guard. Retrieved March 16, 2010. 
  16. ^ Greif, Andrew (2009-02-04). "Jordan Kent: Not another selfish athlete". Oregon Daily Emerald. Retrieved March 27 2009. 

See also

External links


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