Ernie Kent at his introductory press conference as Washington State University’s newest head coach
Ernie Kent and the Washington State Cougars agreed to a 5-year contract earlier this week, but the exact terms of the deal were kept under wraps momentarily.
According to a report from the Associated Press a couple of days ago, Kent will make $1.4 million per year, which is slightly higher than the original statements by WSU AD Bill Moos that said “around $1 million”. Because of the rollover, the terms of that pay could be increased easily in the future, but mostly there’s little money left while the rest of Ken Bone’s paychecks are being paid. The former WSU coach is set to make the remaining $1.7 ($850,000 per season) on his 7-year contract.
Kent will have a total of $650,000 to payout to assistants, of which there will be three. Already hired on are a couple coaches from Kent’s past stops at Saint Mary’s (Silvey Dominguez) and Oregon (Greg Graham). He attributes much of his success at those two stops to these men and it only made sense that he would go get some people he was familiar with.
In consideration for the third and “final” spot on the payroll are two Cougar assistants from the Bone regime, Ray Lopes and Curtis Allen. The latter was the key recruiting piece in the Tremaine Isabell signing, but I’d be a bit surprised if either was retained. Also, I wrapped “final” in quotes because there will likely be a graduate assistant or two in the mix as well as the head trainer and possibly others that are employed by the University.
The buyout on this contract is a cool $2 million (and probably depreciates as the years remaining comes down), which is a decent number for both parties. It’s not so high that Kent couldn’t opt-out if he absolutely had to, but not low enough from WSU’s angle that he would want to while it stays at that price.
The rollover will likely work similarly to Mike Leach’s football contract, with an option for both parties to extend every year at the conclusion of the season until said extension is no longer wanted, though I’m not familiar with the contract itself. This would potentially keep Kent here til he wants to retire or as long as the Cougars feel comfortable keeping him employed.