Washington State's Ernie Kent: 'I feel like a big bear that has been in hibernation'
SAN FRANCISCO – When Ernie Kent's 13-year tenure as the Oregon Ducks' head coach ended in 2010, he spent a few days with Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. He visited Kansas' Bill Self, North Carolina's Roy Williams and Wisconsin's Bo Ryan trying to understand how other programs functioned as basketball teams but also to see how some of the best coaches worked with their players.
Kent eventually got a job as an analyst with Pac-12 Networks, but his love for coaching didn't wane, leading him to take the Washington State head coaching opening earlier this year.
The four years off refreshed him.
"I think that any coach who's coached 30-plus years needs a sabbatical," Kent said Thursday at 2014-15 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Media Day. "I'm just amazed at what it's done for me in terms of your energy, your spirit."
Working as a studio analyst did more than rejuvenate Kent. Senior Cougar guard DaVonte' Lacy sees a pent-up energy in his coach during practices.
Kent has his own way to describe his edge.
"I feel like a big bear that has been in hibernation," he says. "And now it's time to come out and eat."