Ken Bone’s five-year tenure at Washington State is finished. Bone was fired Tuesday morning at his end-of-the-season meeting with athletics director Bill Moos. Bone won’t return to coach the Cougars despite having two years left on his seven-year contract.
The Cougars finished 10-21 (3-15 Pac-12) and lost to Stanford last week in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament.
“Ken and I met earlier today,” Moos said in a release after making a move widely expected. “At that meeting I informed him that I would be making a change in the direction of the program. I appreciate what Ken has done for Cougar basketball, leading us twice to the postseason in the last four years, and I thanked him for his service to WSU. But at this point we need to revitalize our fan base, particularly our student body, and position this program to compete for championships.”
The firing means WSU, which will end the fiscal year with a record $10 million deficit, owes Bone the remaining $1.7 million on his contract.
In 2009, Bone was hired by former AD Jim Sterk after Tony Bennett left for more money and better facilities at Virginia. Over five seasons, Bone posted an 80-86 record (29-61 Pac-10/12), including a trip to the NIT semifinals in 2011 and a trip to the CBI Finals in 2012.
During Bone’s final two seasons, the Cougars were without a point guard following the dismissals of Reggie Moore (2012) and Danny Lawhorn (2013). Subsequently, they struggled to a combined 23-40 record and finished 12th and 11th in the Pac-12. In 2013-14, average attendance at Beasley Coliseum (capacity 11,671) was just 2,800.
“We will begin the process of naming the next head coach immediately,” Moos said. “I will not be discussing details of the hiring process, only that I expect to name the new coach as soon as possible.”