In this series of updates on the history of each Pac-12 men’s hops program, we provide a brief coaching summary, list the current coaches, along with postseason results, conference titles, award winners, and all-time coaching records.Washington State began varsity intercollegiate competition in men’s basketball in 1902.
Fifteen years later, the Cougars were retroactively awarded the 1917 National Championship by the Helms Athletic Foundation and the Premo-Porretta Power Poll.
WSU basketball commanded large crowds in the late-1970s when the charismatic George Raveling became the Conference’s first black head coach.
His tenure capped a run of nearly seven decades in which the Cougars were a consistent contender in the Pac-10 and its predecessors, dating back to the Pacific Coast Conference.
An unsuccessful period followed in the late 1990s and early 2000s, until Dick Bennett, who had led Wisconsin to the Final Four two years earlier, spearheaded a resurgence.
In the 2004–05 season, the Cougars finished within a few wins of a .500 record, highlighted by an upset win over an eventual Elite Eight Arizona team.
Bennett retired at the end of the 2005–06 season and was replaced by his son Tony.
Tony Bennett tied the all-time WSU record for wins (26) twice in three seasons as head coach before leaving to coach the Virginia Cavaliers in 2009.
On March 27, 2019, Kyle Smith was hired as the 19th head coach of Washington State, agreeing to a six-year contract worth $1.4 million annually.
In his first season in Pullman, Smith led the Cougars to a 6-12 conference record (16-16 overall), their best since 2011-12.
In the First Round of the Pac-12 Tournament, the Cougars defeated Colorado, logging their first win in the conference tournament in more than 10 years.
In September 2021, Smith signed a contract extension through the 2026-27 season.
In the 2021-22 season, Smith led the Cougars to their first winning record in conference play (11-9) in 14 years (since 2007-08).
The Cougars followed up their regular-season success with a win in the Pac-12 Tournament before losing to eventual runner-up UCLA.
An NIT berth followed, with the No. 4 seed Cougs making their first postseason appearance in 11 years. Their First-Round win against Santa Clara (63-50) guaranteed their first 20-win season since 2010-11.
The 2021-22 season ended after an impressive run that landed the Cougs in the Semifinals of the NIT for the second time in program history, where they would lose to eventual runner-up Texas A&M, finishing with a 22-15 record.
Washington State University (Pullman, WA)
Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum
Current Coaching Staff
Associate head coach: Jim Shaw (2019-present)
Assistant: Derrick Phelps (2019-present)
Assistant: John Andrzejek (2019-present)
Recruiting Coordinator: Derrick Wrobel (2021-present)
Coordinator of Basketball Operations: Anthony Lorenzo (2019-present)
Final Four Appearances: 1 (1941)
Sweet Sixteen Appearances: 1 (2008)
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 6 (1941, 1980, 1983, 1994, 2007, 2008)
NCAA Tournament Overall Record: 6-6
NIT Championships: 0
NIT Appearances: 6 (1992, 1995, 1996, 2009, 2011, 2022)
NIT Overall Record: 10-6
CBI Championships: 0 (Runner-up in 2012)
CBI Appearances: 1 (2012)
CBI Overall Record: 4-2
Premo-Porretta National Championships: 1 (1917)
Helms Foundation National Championships: 1 (1917)
Conference Titles (PCC through Pac-12)
Pac-12 Tournament Championships: 0
Annual Award Winners
John R. Wooden Award: 0
Oscar Robertson Trophy: 0
AP All-Americans: 1 (Don Collins, 1980)
Pac-12 Player of the Year: 1 (Don Collins, 1980)
Washington State Head Coaching Records
|Kyle Smith||2019 - Pres||52-44||0||0||0|
|J. Fred Bohler||1908-1926||226-177||1||—||—|
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