April 7, 2009
NOTE: TUESDAY'S PRESS CONFERENCE WAS STREAMED LIVE. TO ACCESS THE ARCHIVE BROADCAST CLICK HERE
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University and Director of Athletics Jim Sterk introduced Ken Bone as the 17th Cougar men's basketball head coach during a press conference Tuesday on the WSU campus.
"Ken's arrival to WSU completes a search that, although just a week in duration, was an extensive one," Sterk said. "We interviewed exceptional candidates for the position and at the conclusion of the process I determined that Ken was the best person to lead our basketball program. Throughout his coaching career, Ken has a track record of leading programs to high-levels of achievement. He is a heck of a coach and will be a great fit for Washington State University."
"I am pleased that the athletics department has been able to move quickly to identify and hire such an excellent candidate," WSU President Elson S. Floyd said. "Ken Bone has a strong background in Pacific Northwest basketball and a proven ability to build teams that succeed both on and off the court. After talking with him, I am confident that he is the right choice to build on the progress our men's basketball program has made under Dick and Tony Bennett."
Bone spent the past 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, recording the best winning percentage of any PSU coach since basketball was reinstated in 1996-97 (.611).
"Growing up in the state of Washington and being aware of Washington State University for many years, I always thought it would be a great place to coach basketball," Bone said. "To have the opportunity to coach in the Pac-10 and to bring my family here and raise our three daughters in a nice community, is very exciting."
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.
Over the last 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 four All-Big Sky selections. Portland State also notched its first win over a ranked opponent in school history, defeating No. 7 Gonzaga, 77-70 in Spokane (Dec. 23, 2008). This season the Vikings gave Washington a scare with a one-point, 84-83 loss in Seattle (Dec. 14, 2008).
No stranger to the Pacific Northwest, Bone holds a 335-167 record in 17 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 1990-2002. 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.
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.