WSU Basketball Coach Search: Leon Rice Passes On Cougs, Extends at Boise State


February 6, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Boise State Broncos head coach Leon Rice during the first half against San Diego State Aztecs at Viejas Arena. Mandatory Credit: Photo By Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Boise State Broncos head basketball coach Leon Rice decided Friday that his time in Southern Idaho wasn’t going to be over for awhile, bucking any last thoughts that he might fill the open head coaching position at his alma mater, Washington State.

Rice will be taking a 5-year rollover after having already coached there for 4 seasons. The Broncos went 21-13 (9-9) on the season, after making the NCAA Tournament just a season ago. We learned this from ESPN very late last night.

This isn’t necessarily surprising news, except in just how close this deal got after we thought he was completely out of the running a few weeks ago. After letting it be known that the facilities and travel arrangements at WSU were less than adequate for a competitive Pac-12 team, Rice was reportedly in talks with WSU athletic director Bill Moos and had even come in for an interview. It’s unknown whether or not an offer had been extended to him, but it has been confirmed that an offer has been extended to one of the five candidates on Moos’ short-list.

This information pretty much secures that Rice was definitely at least on that list, which is very interesting. Cougfan seems to think a renewed focus will go to former Oregon Ducks basketball coach Ernie Kent, but I don’t necessarily think that unless Kent was the second coach on the list. Moos will still track his list in order from 1 to 5 until he finds someone to fill the position. It’s likely he will also say that the guy who does decide to take the hire was the only man he really wanted all along and the only coach to receive an offer, which makes me smile a bit inside just because of how perfectly unnecessary it is.

At any rate, one officially down four to go. If Moos’ proclamation of finding a coach ‘within 10-14 days’ is true, we should know our guy by the end of next week.

Go Cougs!