The sixth-winningest coach in Washington State University men’s basketball history, Ken Bone spent six seasons as the Cougars’ head coach beginning with the 2009-10 season until the 2013-14 season. Named the 17th head coach in Cougar basketball history, April 6, 2009 and he took his WSU teams to two postseason tournaments, including the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) semifinals in 2010-11.
In five seasons, Bone compiled an 80-86 record and had more wins than 11 previous Cougar men’s basketball coaches. After four seasons, his .519 winning percentage (70-65) was the second-best by a WSU head coach in his first four seasons, as only Jack Friel (.624, 63-38) had a better record in his first four years. His 70 wins were the most by a Cougar head coach after four seasons and the sixth-winningest head coach in WSU history, passing both Tony Bennett and Kevin Eastman whom each had 69 victories for WSU.
Bone recorded his 400th career win Dec. 21, 2012, after WSU’s defeat of Buffalo at the Cougar Hardwood Classic at KeyArena in Seattle. Over 21 seasons as a head coach, Bone has won 415 total career games including 157 games over seven years in Division I, 253 in 12 seasons at Division II Seattle Pacific and, five wins at Division III Cal State Stanislaus.
In Bone’s final season with WSU, the Cougars recorded a 10-21 mark and finished 11th in the Pac-12 with a 3-15 league record. WSU recorded wins over NCAA Tournament participant and the league’s runner-up, UCLA, 2014 NIT participant Utah and rival Washington. Junior DaVonté Lacy was named All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention at the conclusion of the season, while senior D.J. Shelton led the league in rebounding in conference-only games with 10.4 rebounds per game in league play.
In 2012-13, WSU became just the second school since the 1955-56 season to have the league’s leading scorer in three consecutive-years. Klay Thompson led the Pac-10 with 21.6 points per game in 2010-11, while Brock Motum was the Pac-12’s leading scorer for the second-straight year, averaging 18.0 points per game in 2011-12 and 18.7 points per game in 2012-13. Motum became just the fifth conference student-athlete to lead the conference in scoring in consecutive years since 1955-56 and ended the season ranked 37th in the nation in scoring.
In 2011-12 Bone became the fifth WSU head coach to take his team to two postseason tournaments, and just the third to accomplish the feat in consecutive seasons, as the Cougars made their first appearance in the CBI, reaching the championship round where they fell to Pittsburgh, two games to one, in the best-of-three series. Bone led his squad to a 4-2 mark in the CBI, notching the most single-season postseason wins by any WSU team, bettering the previous season’s 3-1 postseason record. The Cougars finished with a 19-18 overall record, marking the sixth-straight winning season.
At the conclusion of the season, four Cougars earned All-Pac-12 honors, highlighted by Brock Motum being named to the First Team and the league’s Most Improved Player. Junior Reggie Moore was named Pac-12 Honorable Mention, senior Marcus Capers All-Defensive Team Honorable Mention and DaVonté Lacy All-Freshman Team Honorable Mention. In the classroom, redshirt senior Abe Lodwick earned Pac-12 All-Academic Second Team honors, marking this third-straight all-academic accolades. He was joined on the team by sophomore Patrick Simon, while redshirt senior Charlie Enquist was named honorable mention.
As the Cougars’ second-year head coach in 2010-11, Bone led his squad to a 22-13 overall mark and to the semifinals of the NIT at New York’s Madison Square Garden. WSU’s 22 wins tie for the 10th most in school history as it reached 20-plus wins for just the 18th time.
Under Bone’s tutelage, junior Klay Thompson earned All-Pac-10 First team honors for the second-straight year, becoming just the fourth Cougar to be named first team all-league in multiple seasons. Thompson went on to become the 11th pick of the 2011 NBA Draft, going to the Golden State Warriors as the highest NBA Draft pick in school history.
Fellow junior DeAngelo Casto went on to earn second-team all-conference honors and became the first Cougar to earn a spot on the Pac-10 All-Defensive Team twice, picking up his second-consecutive honor. In the classroom, junior Lodwick was named to the Pac-10 All-Academic first team, picking up academic honors for the second-consecutive season.
In his first year at the helm for WSU in 2009-10, Bone led the Cougars to a 16-15 overall mark and 6-12 Pacific-10 Conference record. Under his leadership, Thompson earned All-Pac-10 First Team honors, while Casto was named honorable mention all-conference and to the Pac-10 All-Defensive team. Moore rounded out the accolades as he was named to the conference’s five-man all-freshman team.
Proving that academics hold an important part of his coaching philosophy, at the conclusion of the season, two Cougars were named to the Pac-10 All-Conference teams, Nikola Koprivica to the first squad and Lodwick to the second.
Prior to his stint at WSU, Bone spent the previous four years as the head coach at Portland State, leading the Vikings to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2007-08 and 2008-09. The Vikings went 23-10 during each of the last two years, the two best seasons in the 48-year history of the program. In his four seasons with the Vikings, Bone posted a 77-49 record, the best winning percentage of any PSU coach since basketball was reinstated in 1996-97 (.611).
Bone led Portland State to its finest season in school history in 2007-08, winning a school-record 23 games en route to the Big Sky Conference regular season and tournament titles and making the school's first appearance in the NCAA Division I Tournament. As a result, Bone earned Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year honors, becoming the first Viking basketball coach to do so.
His encore performance in 2008-09 was equally impressive. The Vikings again won 23 games on their way to a second-place regular season finish in the Big Sky and second-straight conference tournament title. The automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament meant PSU was going dancing for the second time in program history, and the second year in a row, this time as a No. 13 seed. The season included PSU’s first win over a ranked opponent when the Vikings upended No. 7 Gonzaga 77-70 in Spokane (Dec. 23, 2008). The Vikings also gave Washington a scare with a one-point, 84-83 loss in Seattle (Dec. 14, 2008).
During his final two seasons at PSU, Bone coached a Big Sky Conference Player and Newcomer of the Year, the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year and six All-Big Sky selections. In his four years, the Vikings had 10 All-Big Sky selections.
No stranger to the Pacific Northwest, Bone holds a 415-253 record in 22 years as a head coach, including 12 seasons at his alma mater, Seattle Pacific University. He registered a 253-97 (.723) record with the Falcons between 1990 and 2002. Bone's SPU teams claimed six outright or shared Pacific West Conference championships and earned eight NCAA playoff appearances. The Falcons made five trips to the NCAA Division II Sweet 16 over a span of eight years, including a semifinal appearance in 2000 that capped a 27-5 season. In 2000, Bone was recognized as both NABC District 8 Coach of the Year and PacWest Conference Co-Coach of the Year.
During Bone's final season at Seattle Pacific, the Falcons posted a 24-5 record, advanced to the second round of the NCAA playoffs and were ranked ninth in the final 2002 poll.
Between his stints at SPU and PSU, Bone spent the 2002-05 seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Washington, playing a major role as the program returned to national prominence.
In 2005 Bone helped direct Washington to the Pacific-10 Conference title as the Huskies earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16. The previous year, Washington had a runner-up finish in the Pac-10 regular-season standings. In 2004 the Huskies advanced to the championship game of the Pac-10 Tournament and competed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999. That season UW swept the three meetings with highly-ranked Arizona and capped the regular season with a win over No. 1 and undefeated Stanford.
Bone’s time spent in Seattle and around the Northwest has made him a seasoned, and renowned, recruiter of the area. During his stint at Washington he helped lure five in-state signees, including All-American Jon Brockman. At PSU, Bone reeled in seven players from Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. At WSU, Bone has been responsible for bringing in 15 Washington-natives, including seven scholarship players in his four seasons.
A Seattle native, Bone graduated from Seattle Pacific in 1983 and received his master's in athletic administration in 1993. He played two seasons (1980-82) at SPU after one-year stints at Shoreline and Edmonds (Wash.) Community Colleges. He is a Shorecrest (Wash.) High School graduate.
Ken and his wife Connie have three daughters, Kendra, Jenae and Chelsea.