Eugene is a city in the U. S. state of Oregon. It is at the southern end of the verdant Willamette Valley, near the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers, about 50 miles east of the Oregon Coast; as of the 2010 census, Eugene had a population of 156,185. The Eugene-Springfield, Oregon metropolitan statistical area is the 146th largest metropolitan statistical area in the US and the third-largest in the state, behind the Portland Metropolitan Area and the Salem Metropolitan Area; the city's population for 2014 was estimated to be 160,561 by the US Census. Eugene is home to the University of Oregon, Northwest Christian University, Lane Community College; the city is noted for its natural environment, recreational opportunities, focus on the arts. Eugene's official slogan is "A Great City for the Arts and Outdoors", it is referred to as the "Emerald City" and as "Track Town, USA". The Nike corporation had its beginnings in Eugene. In 2021, the city will host the 18th Field World Championships.
The first people to settle in the Eugene area were known as the Kalapuyans written Calapooia or Calapooya. They made "seasonal rounds," moving around the countryside to collect and preserve local foods, including acorns, the bulbs of the wapato and camas plants, berries, they stored these foods in their permanent winter village. When crop activities waned, they returned to their winter villages and took up hunting and trading, they were known as the Chifin Kalapuyans and called the Eugene area where they lived "Chifin", sometimes recorded as "Chafin" or "Chiffin". Other Kalapuyan tribes occupied villages that are now within Eugene city limits. Pee-you or Mohawk Calapooians, Winefelly or Pleasant Hill Calapooians, the Lungtum or Long Tom, they were close-neighbors to the Chifin and were political allies. Some authorities suggest, it is that since the Santiam had an alliance with the Brownsville Kalapuyans that the Santiam influence went as far at Eugene. According to archeological evidence, the ancestors of the Kalapuyans may have been in Eugene for as long as 10,000 years.
In the 1800s their traditional way of life faced significant changes due to devastating epidemics and settlement, first by French fur traders and by an overwhelming number of United States colonists. French fur traders had settled seasonally in the Willamette Valley by the beginning of the 19th century, their settlements were concentrated in the "French Prairie" community in Northern Marion County but may have extended south to the Eugene area. Having developed relationships with Native communities through intermarriage and trade, they negotiated for land from the Kalapuyans. By 1828 to 1830 they and their Native wives began year-round occupation of the land, raising crops and tending animals. In this process, the mixed race families began to impact Native access to land, food supply, traditional materials for trade and religious practices. In July 1830, "intermittent fever" struck the lower Columbia region and a year the Willamette Valley. Natives traced the arrival of the disease new to the Northwest, to the U.
S. ship, captained by John Dominis. "Intermittent fever" is thought by researchers now to be malaria. According to Robert T. Boyd, an anthropologist at Portland State University, the first three years of the epidemic, "probably constitute the single most important epidemiological event in the recorded history of what would become the state of Oregon". In his book The Coming of the Spirit Pestilence Boyd reports there was a 92% population loss for the Kalapuyans between 1830 and 1841; this catastrophic event shattered the social fabric of Kalapuyan society and altered the demographic balance in the Valley. This balance was further altered over the next few years by the arrival of Anglo-American settlers, beginning in 1840 with 13 people and growing each year until within 20 years more than 11,000 US colonists, including Eugene Skinner, had arrived; as the demographic pressure from the colonists grew, the remaining Kalapuyans were forcibly removed to Indian reservations. Though some Natives escaped being swept into the reservation, most were moved to the Grand Ronde reservation in 1856.
Strict racial segregation was enforced and mixed race people, known as Métis in French, had to make a choice between the reservation and Anglo society. Native Americans could not leave the reservation without traveling papers and white people could not enter the reservation. Eugene Franklin Skinner, after whom Eugene is named, arrived in the Willamette Valley in 1846 with 1200 other colonists that year. Advised by the Kalapuyans to build on high ground to avoid flooding, he erected the first Anglo cabin on south or west slope of what the Kalapuyans called Ya-po-ah; the "isolated hill" is now known as Skinner's Butte. The cabin was used as a trading post and was registered as an official post office on January 8, 1850. At this time the settlement was known by Anglos as Skinner's Mudhole, it was relocated in 1853 and named Eugene City in 1853. Formally incorporated as a city in 1862, it was named Eugene in 1889. Skinner ran a ferry service across the Willamette River; the first major educational institution in the area was Columbia College, founded a few years earlier than the University of Oregon.
It fell victim to two major fires in four years, after the second fire, the college decided not to rebuild again. The part of south Eugene known as College Hill was the former location o
Patrick James Riley is an American professional basketball executive, a former coach and player in the National Basketball Association. He has been the team president of head coach in two separate tenures. Regarded as one of the greatest NBA coaches of all time, Riley has served as the head coach of five championship teams, he won four with the Los Angeles Lakers during their Showtime era in the 1980s, one with the Heat in 2006. He was named NBA Coach of the Year three times, he was head coach of an NBA All-Star Game team nine times: eight times with the Western Conference team and once with the Eastern team. He is the first North American sports figure to win a championship as a player, assistant coach, head coach, as an executive. In 1996, he was named one of the 10 Greatest Coaches in NBA history; as a player, he played for the Lakers' championship team in 1972. Riley most won the 2012 and 2013 NBA championships with the Heat as their team president, he received the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award from the NBA Coaches Association on June 20, 2012.
Riley was raised in Schenectady, New York. His father, Leon Riley, played twenty-two seasons of minor league baseball as an outfielder and first baseman, appeared in four games for the 1944 Philadelphia Phillies. Riley played basketball for Linton High School in Schenectady, New York under head coach Walt Przybylo and his assistants Bill Rapavy and Ed Catino. Linton High School's 74–68 victory over New York City's Power Memorial on December 29, 1961, is remembered for its two stars: Power Memorial's Lew Alcindor. In 1991, Riley called it, "One of the greatest games in the history of Schenectady basketball." Riley was a versatile athlete in college, participating in both football. As a junior on the 1965–66 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team he was named First Team All-SEC, All-NCAA Tournament Team, NCAA Regional Player of the Year, SEC Player of the Year and AP Third Team All-American, leading the Wildcats to the 1966 NCAA title game. Coached by Adolph Rupp, UK lost to Texas Western, a game, reenacted in the movie Glory Road.
In his senior year Riley made First Team All-SEC, one of the only players in storied Kentucky Basketball history to make two or more First Team All-SEC teams. He was selected by the San Diego Rockets in the 1st round of the 1967 NBA draft, was drafted as a wide receiver by the Dallas Cowboys in the 11th round of the 1967 NFL Draft, he joined the Rockets and was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1970 NBA expansion draft, but was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, which he helped toward the 1972 NBA Championship both by coming off the bench in games and by guarding friend and Laker guard Jerry West in practice. He retired after the 1975–76 NBA season as a member of the Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns. Riley finished his NBA playing career with a 7.4 points per game scoring average and a field-goal percentage of 41.4%. Riley returned to the NBA in 1977 as a broadcaster for the Lakers. During the 1979–80 season, when the team's head coach, Jack McKinney, was injured during a near fatal bicycle accident, assistant coach Paul Westhead took over the team's head coaching duties.
Riley moved from the broadcast booth to the bench as one of Westhead's assistant coaches. With rookie guard Magic Johnson and longtime star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Lakers won the 1980 NBA Finals, defeating Philadelphia in six games, giving Westhead and Riley championship rings in their first year coaching the team. However, the team lost in the playoffs the next year to the Moses Malone-led Houston Rockets. Six games into the 1981–82 season, Magic Johnson said he wished to be traded because he was unhappy playing for Westhead. Shortly afterward, Lakers' owner Jerry Buss fired Westhead. At an ensuing press conference, with Jerry West at his side, Buss named West head coach. West, however and Buss awkwardly tried to name West as "offensive captain" and named West and Riley as co-coaches. West made it clear during the press conference that he would only assist Riley, that Riley was the head coach. Thereafter, Riley was the interim head coach. Riley ushered in the Lakers' "Showtime" era, along with superstar players Johnson and Abdul-Jabbar with their running game.
Riley became a celebrity in his own right, a fashion icon for his Armani suits and slicked-back hair which complemented the team's Hollywood image. Riley led the Lakers to four consecutive NBA Finals appearances, his first title came against the Philadelphia 76ers. Both teams returned to the Finals the next year, this time Riley's Lakers were swept by the 76ers; the Lakers lost in the Finals to the Boston Celtics in seven games. The Lakers earned Riley his second NBA title in 1985 in a rematch of the previous year, as the Lakers beat the Celtics in six games; the Lakers' four-year Western Conference streak was broken the following year by the Houston Rockets. In 1987, Riley coached a Lakers team, considered one of the best teams of all-time. With future Hall of Famers Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, plus Michael Cooper, Byron Scott, A. C. Green, Mychal Thompson, Kurt Rambis, the Lakers finished 65–17 in the regular season, third-best in team history, they met with similar success in the playoffs, dispatching th
The Philadelphia 76ers are an American professional basketball team based in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The 76ers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division and play at Wells Fargo Center. Founded in 1946 and known as the Syracuse Nationals, they are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA, one of only eight to survive the league's first decade; the 76ers have had a rich history, with many of the greatest players in NBA history having played for the organization, including Wilt Chamberlain, Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham, Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson. They have won three NBA championships, with their first coming as the Syracuse Nationals in 1955; the second title came in 1967, a team, led by Chamberlain. The third title came in 1983, won by a team led by Malone; the 76ers have only been back to the NBA Finals once since then: in 2001, where they were led by Iverson and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.
In 1946, Italian immigrant Daniel Biasone sent a $5,000 check to the National Basketball League offices in Chicago, the Syracuse Nationals became the Midwest-based league's easternmost team, based in the Upstate New York city of Syracuse. The Syracuse Nationals began play in the NBL in the same year professional basketball was gaining some legitimacy with the rival Basketball Association of America, based in large cities like New York and Philadelphia. While in the NBL with teams consisting of small Midwestern towns, the Nationals put together a 21–23 record, finishing in fourth place. In the playoffs, the Nationals would be beaten by the fellow upstate neighbor Rochester Royals in four games. In their second season, 1947–48, the Nationals would struggle, finishing in fifth place with a 24–36 record. Despite their struggles, the Nationals would make the playoffs, getting swept by the Anderson Duffey Packers in 3 straight games. Several teams began to leave the NBL for the BAA; the Nationals "recipe for success" began by recruiting Leo Ferris.
Staying in the NBL, Ferris signed Al Cervi to be player coach and outbid the New York Knicks for the services of Dolph Schayes who made his professional debut, leading the Nationals to a winning record for the first time with a record of 41–22. In the playoffs the Nationals would make quick work of the Hammond Calumet Buccaneers, winning the series in 2 straight games. However, in the semifinals the Nationals would fall to the Anderson Duffey Packers for the second straight season in four games. In 1949, the Nationals were one of seven NBL teams that were absorbed by the Basketball Association of America to form the NBA; the Nationals were an instant success in the NBA, winning the Eastern Division in the 1949–50 season, with a league best record of 51–13. In the playoffs the Nationals continued to play solid basketball, beating the Philadelphia Warriors in 2 straight. Moving on to the Eastern Finals, the Nationals battled the New York Knickerbockers, beating their big city rivals in a 3-game series.
In the NBA Finals, the Nationals faced. In Game 1 of the Finals the Nationals lost just their second home game of the season 68–66; the Nationals did not recover. Despite several teams leaving the NBA for the National Professional Basketball League before the 1950–51 season, the Nationals decided to stay put. In their second NBA season, 1950–51, the Nationals played mediocre basketball all season, finishing in fourth place with a record of 32–34. However, in the playoffs the Nationals played their best basketball of the season as they stunned the first place Warriors in two straight, taking Game 1 on the road in overtime 91–89. In the Eastern Finals the Nationals were beaten by the New York Knickerbockers in a hard-fought 5-game series, losing the finale by just 2 points. Cervi, playing less and coaching more, emphasized a patient offense and a scrappy defense, which led the league in the 1951–52 season by yielding a stingy 79.5 points per game as the Nationals won the Eastern Division with a solid 40–26 record.
In the playoffs the Nationals knocked off the Warriors again in a 3-game series. However, in the Eastern Finals the Nationals fell to the Knickerbockers again, dropping the series in four games; the Nationals would finish in second place in a hard-fought 3-way battle for first place in the Eastern Division for the 1952–53 season, with a record of 47–24. In the playoffs the Nationals would face the Boston Celtics dropping Game 1 at home 87–81. Needing a win in Boston to keep their hopes alive, the Nationals would take the Celtics deep into overtime before losing in quadruple OT 111–105, in what remains the longest playoff game in NBA history; the Nationals acquired Alex Groza, Ralph Beard as the Indianapolis Olympians folded leaving the NBA with just 9 teams for the 1953–54 season. Once again the Nationals would battle for the Division title falling two games short with a 42–30 record. In the playoffs the Nationals would win all four games of a round robin tournament involving the three playoff teams from the East.
In the Eastern Finals the Nationals would stay hot beating the Celtics in 2 straight games. However, in the NBA Finals the Nationals would lose to the Lakers in a hard-fought 7-game series where the 2 teams alternated wins throughout. With the NBA struggling financially and down to just 8 teams Nationals owner during the 1954–55 season, Biasone suggested the league limit the amount of time taken for a shot thus speeding up a game that ended with long periods of teams just holding the ball and playing keep away. Biasone and Nationals' general manager
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. The Trail Blazers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Western Conference Northwest Division; the team played its home games in the Memorial Coliseum before moving to Moda Center in 1995. The franchise entered the league as an expansion team in 1970, has enjoyed a strong following: from 1977 through 1995, the team sold out 814 consecutive home games, the longest such streak in American major professional sports at the time, only since surpassed by the Boston Red Sox; the Trail Blazers have been the only NBA team based in the bi-national Pacific Northwest, after the Vancouver Grizzlies relocated to Memphis and became the Memphis Grizzlies in 2001, the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008. The team has advanced to the NBA Finals three times, winning the NBA championship once in 1977.
Their other NBA Finals appearances were in 1990 and 1992. The team has qualified for the playoffs in 34 seasons of their 48-season existence, including a streak of 21 straight appearances from 1983 through 2003, tied for the second longest streak in NBA history; the Trail Blazers' 34 playoff appearances rank third in the NBA only behind the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs since the team's inception in 1970. Six Hall of Fame players have played for the Trail Blazers. Bill Walton is the franchise's most decorated player. Four Blazer rookies have won the NBA Rookie of the Year award. Three players have earned the Most Improved Player award: Kevin Duckworth, Zach Randolph, CJ McCollum. Two Hall of Fame coaches, Lenny Wilkens and Jack Ramsay, have patrolled the sidelines for the Blazers, two others, Mike Schuler and Mike Dunleavy, have won the NBA Coach of the Year Award with the team. Sports promoter Harry Glickman sought a National Basketball Association franchise for Portland as far back as 1955 when he proposed two new expansion teams, the other to be located in Los Angeles.
When the Memorial Coliseum was opened in 1960 Glickman saw the potential it could serve as a professional basketball venue but it was not until February 6, 1970, that the NBA board of governors granted him the rights to a franchise in Portland. To raise the money for the $3.7 million admission tax, Glickman associated himself to real estate magnates Robert Schmertz of New Jersey, Larry Weinberg of Los Angeles and Herman Sarkowsky of Seattle. Two weeks on February 24, team management held a contest to select the team's name and received more than 10,000 entries; the most popular choice was "Pioneers", but that name was excluded from consideration as it was used by sports teams at Portland's Lewis & Clark College. The name "Trail Blazers" received 172 entries, was selected by the judging panel, being revealed on March 13 in the halftime of a SuperSonics game at the Memorial Coliseum. Derived from the trail blazing activity by explorers making paths through forests, Glickman considered it a name that could "reflect both the ruggedness of the Pacific Northwest and the start of a major league era in our state."
Despite initial mixed response, the Trail Blazers name shortened to just "Blazers", became popular in Oregon. Along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Buffalo Braves, the Trail Blazers entered the NBA in 1970 as an expansion team, under coach Rolland Todd. Geoff Petrie and Sidney Wicks led the team in its early years, the team failed to qualify for the playoffs in its first six seasons of existence. During that span, the team had three head coaches; the team won the first pick in the NBA draft twice during that span. In 1972, the team drafted LaRue Martin with the number one pick. In 1974 the team selected Bill Walton from UCLA; the ABA–NBA merger of 1976 saw those two rival leagues join forces. Four ABA teams joined the NBA; the Trail Blazers selected Maurice Lucas in the dispersal draft. That summer, they hired Jack Ramsay as head coach; the two moves, coupled with the team's stellar play, led Portland to several firsts: winning record, playoff appearance, championship in 1977. Starting on April 5 of that year, the team began a sellout streak of 814 straight games—the longest in American major professional sports history—which did not end until 1995, after the team moved into a larger facility.
The team started the 1977–78 season with a 50–10 mark, some predicted a dynasty in Portland. However, Bill Walton suffered a foot injury that ended his season and would plague him over the remainder of his career, the team struggled to an 8–14 finish, going 58–24 overall. In the playoffs, Portland lost to the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1978 conference semifinals; that summer, Walton demanded to be traded to a team of his choice because he was unhappy with his medical treatment in Portland. Walton was never traded, he held out the entire 1978–79 season and left the team as a free agent thereafter; the team was further dismantled as Lucas left in 1980. During the 1980s, the team was a consistent presence in the NBA post-season, failing to qualify for the playoffs only in 1982. However, they never advanced past the conference semifinals duri
The Detroit Pistons are an American professional basketball team based in Detroit, Michigan. The Pistons compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division and plays its home games at Little Caesars Arena; the team was founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana as the Fort Wayne Pistons in 1941, a member of the National Basketball League where it won two NBL championships: in 1944 and 1945. The Pistons joined the Basketball Association of America in 1948; the NBL and BAA merged to become the NBA in 1949, the Pistons became part of the merged league. Since moving to Detroit in 1957, the Pistons have won three NBA championships: in 1989, 1990 and 2004; the Detroit Pistons franchise was founded as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, a National Basketball League team, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Owner Fred Zollner's Zollner Corporation was a foundry that manufactured pistons for car and locomotive engines; the Zollner Pistons were NBL champions in 1944 and 1945.
They won the World Professional Basketball Tournament in 1944, 1945 and 1946. In 1948, the team became the Fort Wayne Pistons. In 1949, Fred Zollner brokered the formation of the National Basketball Association from the BAA and the NBL at his kitchen table. There are suggestions that Pistons players conspired with gamblers to shave points and throw various games during the 1953–54 and 1954–55 seasons. In particular, there are accusations that the team may have intentionally lost the 1955 NBA Finals to the Syracuse Nationals. In the decisive Game 7, the Pistons led 41–24 early in the second quarter before the Nationals rallied to win the game; the Nationals won on a free throw by George King with twelve seconds left in the game. The closing moments included a palming turnover by the Pistons' George Yardley with 18 seconds left, a foul by Frank Brian with 12 seconds left that enabled King's winning free throw, a turnover by the Pistons' Andy Phillip in the final seconds which cost them a chance to attempt the game winning shot.
Though the Pistons enjoyed a solid local following, Fort Wayne's small size made it difficult for them to be profitable as other early NBA teams based in smaller cities started folding or relocating to larger markets. After the 1956–57 season, Zollner decided that Fort Wayne was too small to support an NBA team and announced the team would be playing elsewhere in the coming season, he settled on Detroit. Although it was the fifth largest city in the United States at the time, Detroit had not seen professional basketball in a decade, they lost the Detroit Eagles due to World War II, both the Detroit Gems of the NBL and the Detroit Falcons of the BAA in 1947, the Detroit Vagabond Kings in 1949. Zollner decided to keep the Pistons name, believing it made sense given Detroit's status as the center of the automobile industry; the Pistons played in Olympia Stadium for their first four seasons moved to Cobo Arena. During the 1960s and 1970s, the Pistons were characterized by strong individuals and weak teams.
Some of the superstars who played for the team included Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Bob Lanier. At one point, DeBusschere was the youngest player-coach in the history of the NBA. A trade during the 1968–69 season sent DeBusschere to the New York Knicks for Howard Komives and Walt Bellamy, both of whom were in the stages of their careers. DeBusschere became a key player in leading the Knicks to two NBA titles. In 1974, Zollner sold the team to glass magnate Bill Davidson, who remained the team's principal owner until his death in 2009. While the Pistons did qualify for the postseason in four straight seasons from 1974 to 1977, they never had any real sustained success. In 1978, Davidson became displeased with Cobo Arena, but opted not to follow the Red Wings to the under-construction Joe Louis Arena. Instead, he moved the team to the suburb of Pontiac, where they played in the 82,000 capacity Silverdome, a structure built for professional football; the Pistons stumbled their way out of the 1970s and into the 1980s, beginning with a 16–66 record in 1979–80 and following up with a 21–61 record in 1980–81.
The 1979–80 team lost its last 14 games of the season which, when coupled with the seven losses at the start of the 1980–81 season, comprised a then-NBA record losing streak of 21 games. The franchise's fortunes began to turn in 1981, when they drafted point guard Isiah Thomas from Indiana University. In November 1981, the Pistons acquired Vinnie Johnson in a trade with the Seattle SuperSonics, they would acquire center Bill Laimbeer in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers in February 1982. Another key move by the Pistons was the hiring of head coach Chuck Daly in 1983; the Pistons had a tough time moving up the NBA ladder. In 1984, the Pistons lost a tough five-game series to the underdog New York Knicks, 3–2. In the 1985 playoffs, Detroit won its first-round series and faced the defending champion Boston Celtics in the conference semifinals. Though Boston would prevail in six games, Detroit's surprise performance promised that a rivalry had begun. In the 1985 NBA draft, the team selected Joe Dumars 18th overall, a selection that would prove to be wise.
They acquired Rick Mahorn in a trade with the Washington Bullets. However, the team took a step backwards, losing in the first round of the 1986 playoffs to the more athletic Atlanta Hawks. After the series, changes were made in order to make the team more defensive-minded. Prior to the 1986–87 season, the Pistons acquired more key players: John Salley (
Stuart Wayne Jackson is an American basketball executive and former basketball coach. He serves as the associate commissioner for the Big East. Jackson has coached the New York Knicks from 1989 to 1990, the Vancouver Grizzlies in 1997, has served as the Grizzlies' general manager, he is the former executive vice president of the National Basketball Association. Jackson played basketball at the University of Seattle University, he worked as an associate coach and head recruiting coordinator under Rick Pitino at Providence College from 1985 to 1987. He worked as an assistant coach at Washington State University from 1983 to 1985 and at the University of Oregon from 1981 through 1983. Jackson was named the head coach of the New York Knicks in 1989 at the age of 33, becoming the second-youngest head coach in NBA history; the Knicks went 52–45 during his tenure, upsetting the Boston Celtics in the 1990 playoffs before losing to the eventual NBA champions Detroit Pistons. He was head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers in the 1992–93 and 1993–94 seasons, leading the Badgers to the 1994 NCAA Tournament.
He was general manager of the NBA's Vancouver Grizzlies for the franchise's first five seasons, during which the Grizzlies lost 300 of 378 games. In June 2007, he became the executive vice president of basketball operations for the NBA, a league official whose duties included penalizing players for on-court misconduct, his duties included being in charge of on-the-court operations, game rules, conduct and serving as the chair of the Competition Committee. Jackson holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Seattle University. Jackson resides in New York with his four daughters. Stu Jackson profile at NBA.com BasketballReference.com: Stu Jackson
Ernest Kent is an American college basketball coach. He is the former head men's basketball coach at Washington State University. Prior to Washington State, he served as the head men's basketball coach at the University of Oregon and at Saint Mary's. Kent was an assistant at Stanford University and coached abroad in Saudi Arabia. Kent was a college basketball commentator with the Pac-12 Network. Kent played for the Oregon Ducks from 1973 to 1977 under head coach Dick Harter. Nicknamed "Million Moves", he was a part of the Kamikaze Kids, known for constant hustle and aggressive play in their attempts to win ball games. Knee injuries ended his collegiate career. Kent played high school basketball for West High School in Illinois; as a Class of 1973 senior, he was named Parade Magazine All-American, Scholastic All-America by Scholastic Magazine, Illinois High School Association All-State, received the American Legion Outstanding Achievement Award, was a member of the National Honor Society. Between 1980 and 1987, Ernie Kent spent his days in Saudi Arabia coaching basketball for the Al-Khaleej Club.
Kent and his wife were immersed in Arab culture, living in a Shiite Muslim village for their first two years working for the Arabian American Oil Company in Dhahran. He recalls learning how to be patient, since a translator was required for communication with his team, it taught him how to deal with extreme pressure. I worked seven years in Saudi Arabia coaching and my paycheck was on one side of the table and my passport on the other, they said to me,'You can't leave and you won't get paid if you don't win.' I think. I would go to the games and there would be a young Saudi with a submachine gun outside the game. That's pressure. This, this is just basketball. After returning to the United States from Saudi Arabia, he became an assistant coach at Colorado State University at Stanford University under head coach Mike Montgomery, he went on to become the head coach at Saint Mary's College of California where he remained for six years. While at Saint Mary's, Kent's coaching relationship with the players changed drastically.
His players told Kent. From that moment on, Kent became more compassionate toward his players, he took his players before every season to go to a retreat, where his players bonded with each other, strengthening the cohesiveness of the team, a tradition he continued at the University of Oregon. Kent was hired in 1997 to replace Jerry Green, leaving for a position at the University of Tennessee, Kent was the first African American head coach to be hired in the history of the Oregon Ducks athletic department in any sport. Under Kent, the Ducks reached the NCAA tournament five times, in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007 and 2008, reaching the Elite Eight in 2002 and 2007, he led the Ducks to the National Invitation Tournament Final Four in 1999 and 2004. In the 2002 season, Kent led the team to its first conference title since 1939 despite the Pacific-10 Conference sending a record of six teams into the NCAA tournament. Under Kent, Oregon was known for playing guard-heavy lineups; as head coach, Kent was known for his recruiting ability, bringing in a class of regarded recruits in 2004 such as Maarty Leunen, Bryce Taylor, Chamberlain Oguchi and Malik Hairston.
He was criticized for failing to sign two of the highest profile recruits to come from the state of Oregon for the class of 2007, Kyle Singler and Kevin Love. The following year, he signed the #21 recruiting class. During his tenure, he had four players drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft in Fred Jones, Luke Ridnour, Luke Jackson and Aaron Brooks. A decline in the success of his teams between 2004 and 2006, the perceived lack of development of regarded recruits as well as rumors of personal issues led many people to question whether Kent would remain at Oregon after the 2005–2006 season, but after the season, the school's athletic director at the time, Bill Moos, issued a statement affirming his support for Kent. The team regained its composure the following year and finished the season within the Elite Eight in the 2007 NCAA tournament. Senior point guard Aaron Brooks said that he felt the team let Kent down the previous season for wanting to play in an up-tempo style but not conditioning for it.
After the 2008–2009 season when Kent posted his worst record with Oregon, questions whether Kent would be retained resurfaced. Kent remained the head coach, but following a second-to-last finish in the Pac-10 in the 2009–10 season, Kent was fired. On March 31, 2014, Kent was hired to replace Ken Bone as the Men's Basketball coach at Washington State University, he was fired five years on March 14, 2019, one day after losing to University of Oregon in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament. Ernie Kent was born January 22, 1955 in Rockford and has three adult children: Marcus, Jordan and McKenzie. Jordan Kent was a three-sport letterman for the University of Oregon in track & field and football. With his degree in community service and public affairs, he was heavily involved in community service in Eugene, earning the 2004 Hope Award from the Oregon Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Kent is active with the American Cancer Society and the Coaches Versus Cancer campaign while being the honorary chairman of the Children's Miracle Network.
Washington State profile