Ken Bone Takes Helm of Men's Basketball at WSU; Jeff Hironaka Follows
SPU 1983 graduate and former falcon basketball coach becomes a cougar
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On April 7, former Seattle Pacific University coach Ken Bone was announced as the 17th men's basketball head coach at Washington State University, a contender in the NCAA Division 1 Pacific-10 Conference. Two weeks later, Jeff Hironaka — current Falcon men's basketball coach and former Bone coaching assistant — was named Bone's final WSU assistant coach.
Bone, a 1983 SPU graduate, spent the last 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. In his four seasons with the Vikings, Bone went 77-49.
He also led Portland State to its best season in school history during the 2007–08 season, 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. That same year, Bone earned Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year honors.
Overall, Bone holds a 335-167 record in his 17 years as a head coach, including 12 seasons at Seattle Pacific University, where he posted a 253-97 record with the Falcons from 1990 to 2002.
While led by Bone, the SPU falcons claimed six outright or shared Pacific West Conference championships and earned eight NCAA playoff appearances. The SPU men’s basketball team made five trips to the NCAA Division II Sweet 16 over a span of eight years, including a semifinal appearance in 2000 that topped off 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 his final season at Seattle Pacific, he coached the Falcons to a 24-5 record, advancing to the second round of the NCAA playoffs. The team was 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 the move to WSU, Bone took over the top coaching spot from Tony Bennett, who moved on to the University of Virginia after a successful three seasons. And, in a case of "it's a small world," when Bennett took over at University of Virginia, he hired 1987 SPU alum Ritchie McKay as associate coach. McKay had led the Division I Liberty University to one of its most successful seasons ever (23-12) in 2008–09.
Then on April 22, Jeff Hironaka, with 18 years as a Falcon basketball coach under his belt, announced he was rejoining Bone at WSU, becoming an assistant coach.
As the Falcons head men's basketball coach since just before the 2002-03 season, Hironaka
compiled a 134-67 record and led the Falcons into each of the last five NCAA Division II Tournaments.
A two-time GNAC Coach of the Year, Hironaka was also the 2006 NABC West Region Coach of the Year. SPU registered a winning record in each of Hironaka’s seven seasons.