Ducks keep Kent, add Arizona's Dunlap

Updated: April 1, 2009, 6:56 PM ET
Associated Press

EUGENE, Ore. -- Ernie Kent will stay on as Oregon's men's basketball coach after a disappointing 8-23 season that led to speculation about the Ducks making a change.

The school also announced Wednesday that it hired former Arizona assistant Mike Dunlap as associate head coach.

Kent's future with Oregon was murky after the Ducks had the second-most losses in team history and went 2-16 in the Pac-10 this season.

Kent, an Oregon alum, has coached the Ducks for 12 seasons and gone 219-157, making him the Ducks' winningest coach. He has guided the Ducks to five NCAA tournament appearances, and two regional semifinals.

Oregon won the Pac-10 title in 2002, and won the league's postseason tournament in 2003 and 2007.

Before his season as an assistant for the Wildcats, Dunlap was an assistant with the Denver Nuggets for two seasons. He also was head coach at Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colo., for nine seasons, guiding the Roadrunners to NCAA Division II National Championships in 2000 and 2002.

Dunlap takes over at Oregon for Mark Hudson, whose contract was not renewed.

Kent approached athletic director Pat Kilkenny about hiring Dunlap.

"I was satisfied, after doing much research into the matter, that Mike Dunlap will help our basketball team be competitive in the Pac-10 once again," Kilkenny said in a statement. "After all that we have achieved, including two Elite Eight runs in the NCAA tournament, an outright Pac-10 championship and two Pac-10 Tournament championships, Ernie should have the opportunity to chart the direction of our program."

Kent has a guaranteed annual salary of just over $1 million, plus incentives. Had he been let go, Oregon would have had to pay $1.1 million to buy out his contract. He also would have been owed about $1.25 million in deferred income.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press