Washington State fires men’s basketball coach Ken Bone; Broncos’ Rice on Cougars’ radar

On Tuesday, Washington State announced it had fired men’s basketball coach Ken Bone after going 80-86 in five seasons, including 10-21 this season. Bone previously was at Portland State, and his last game with the Vikings was in the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament in Boise in 2009.

A name that quickly came up and was later mentioned by Washington State athletic director Bill Moos was Boise State coach Leon Rice. Rice is a 1986 graduate of Washington State and has gone 77-54 in four seasons with the Broncos.

Courtesy the AP’s Tim Booth, here’s what Moos said: “Leon Rice is doing a great job at Boise State. I know Leon is an alum. He’s going to get some looks and he deserves that. He’s done a nice job at Boise State, and I think he was a big part of the success at Gonzaga. I’m not going to go further than that.”

Among the other candidates is former Oregon coach Ernie Kent, about whom Moos had a good amount to say, too.

Bone reportedly made $850,000 this season. Including a signing bonus when a new contract was approved in June, and a bonus for reaching 20 wins, Rice made just over $500,000. Hitting 20 wins also extended his contract through the 2018-19 season.

Rice certainly would make quite a bit more with the Cougars, though whether he would want to rebuild another program is unknown. A Washington State site said Rice has been contacted about the opening but was hesitant to speak about the job, citing better facilities at Boise State.

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