WSU Basketball: Air Force Coach Says Silvey Dominguez Will Be “Missed”, Cougars Big Beneficiary


Jan 26, 2014; Pullman, WA, USA; Washington State Cougars marching band performs before a game against the Oregon Ducks at Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington State Cougars are bringing into the program what most of the youthful Cougar fans will see as an old-timer by his pictures, but experience, knowledge and connections make assistant coach Silvey Dominguez a gem.

We’ve been over the fact that Dominguez and new head coach Ernie Kent go way back, a couple decades at least. The two were coaches on the St. Mary’s team that Kent led in the mid-90’s. Dominguez has spent time with Utah, USC, Wyoming, New Mexico State and Colorado State. Before Kent even knew he was coming to Pullman, he told the Air Force coaching staff that Dominguez would be his very first hire the next time he had a head coaching job, a promise that came true about a week and a half ago.

The Falcons knew this was coming, but that won’t make it any easier to stomach, says head coach Dave Pilipovich.

"“He’s a lifer. He’s a basketball lifer. He’s what we call a grinder. He’s the first one in, last one out of the office. He has so many recruiting contacts to different areas, he just picks up the phone and he can find an AAU coach who can give you some information. And he’s really, really good on the floor and well-perceived by our players and staff. He’s just good to have around.“We’re going to miss him.”"

WSU athletic director Bill Moos has made it very clear that recruiting is one thing the Cougars are really needing to improve and Dominguez is very good at it. It may seem like WSU is “limited” when it comes to resources compared to the rest of the Pac-12, but that’s only part of the story when you look at the entire situation as it stands.

Two things have to be considered to understand why this hire is incredibly beneficial to the WSU program. The first is obviously because of where Dominguez is coming from; Air Force Academy. Not only is this a substantial pay raise for him, the fact that it’s a Pac-12 school also gives him a substantial step up in the resources he can draw from. With a much more revered Ernie Kent at the helm (especially considering the last time they worked was over a decade and a half ago), Dominguez wields a much bigger stick in terms of the stay power in a kid’s living room.

That somewhat cues up reason number two, which is that Dominguez’ connections in the Midwest and other areas now gain intriguing value to talented kids looking to go to a big conference but can’t get in with the Arizona’s, ASU’s, Kansas’ and Oklahoma’s of the world. Colorado and Utah are good options for kids like these, along with a lot of schools more East-bound, but what about a kid that would rather go West? Where it wasn’t before, Washington State now becomes a great option.

Sure Kent and staff will focus on the West, specifically the Northwest and even more specifically the Seattle/Tacoma, WA and Portland, OR areas. Obviously, those are considered “meccas” for basketball talent that goes all over the country, so pulling in some of the talent from there is crucial.

In fact the Cougars have been successful in the recent past getting into those areas as well. Reggie Moore (Seattle), Mike Ladd (Seattle, though he was a transfer from Fresno), DeAngelo Casto (lumping him in even though he’s farther East from Spokane), most recently DaVonte Lacy (Tacoma) and finally next season Tremaine Isabell (Seattle) are those that have recently made or are sure to make big contributions to the program.

But after that, it’s really difficult to assess where the Cougs have been most successful the past five years. California has probably produced the most minutes with Junior Longrus, D.J. Shelton and Ike Iroegbu, but the rest is an honest combination of cast-offs and projects. No disrespect to the current Cougs, but factually this program obviously needs more legitimate Pac-12 talent infused.

If Dominguez can help spear one or two legitimate players with his connections and Kent and other assistant Greg Graham can lock down the Northwest, the Cougs could jump up the ladder quite quickly in terms of talent. One of the many reasons Kent wants Dominguez by his side.