It took less than two weeks for the Washington State Cougars to find their man: Kyle Smith will replace Ernie Kent in Pullman.
Smith has agreed to a six-year contract worth $1.4 million annually — the same amount made by his predecessor. The length of the contract might give some people pause, but it’s undeniable that Smith faces a fairly monumental rebuild: The Cougars cratered under Kent this past season, sinking to 11-21 overall and 207th in the Pomeroy Rankings. It was the seventh consecutive losing season for the program.
Is a winning season in store next year? At each of the programs he’s led — the San Francisco Dons and Columbia Lions — Smith has improved both his program’s win total and Pomeroy Ranking in his first season.
At the very least, he’s got a nice centerpiece to work with in CJ Elleby, who had arguably the best freshman season in WSU history — provided he can convince Elleby to stick around.