Former Oregon Ducks coach Ernie Kent finally enters the arena that he helped build

Former Oregon Ducks head basketball coach Ernie Kent will see his first game at Matthew Knight Arena. His contributions to the University need to be acknowledged.

At first glace, the Oregon Ducks' men's basketball team's schedule for the week seems awfully ho-hum. A Thursday night match-up with UT-San Antonio and a Saturday tilt with Arkansas-Pine Bluff is the kind of fodder you expect to see early in the college basketball season, and two expected wins for an Oregon team that went toe-to-toe with UNLV and Cincinnati last weekend. It's not the opponents that make these games remarkable.

It's who will finally be on hand.

Former Oregon coach Ernie Kent will call both games for the Pac-12 Network. He'll call several more this season, too. If you remember a year ago, Kent called a couple of Oregon road games for Fox Sports Net, but couldn't bring himself to call an Oregon home game. He had never stepped foot in Matthew Knight Arena, a building that wouldn't exist without his accomplishments. That all changes this week.

The end of Ernie's tenure was not particularly pretty, and it became evident that a change needed to be made. But that became evident only because Kent raised the bar with five NCAA Tournament appearances and two Elite Eights during his tenure. Ernie wasn't able to get the team to that level on a consistent basis, but the fact that he did it in the first place allowed the arena conversations to even begin.

The relationship between Oregon fans and Ernie Kent, at least from this end, is far different from most coaches who were fired from their jobs. Kent is the all-time winningest coach in Oregon history and led the team to their highest highs in the modern era. Furthermore, he played here. He is one of us. There is still a lot of love between the fans and our former coach, and that needs to be acknowledged on Thursday. Without Kent, Matthew Knight Arena wouldn't exist. In a lot of ways, he built this house. The Pit Crew needs to let him feel their presence. They need to serenade him. A standing ovation--a prolonged one--needs to occur. It's literally the least we can do.

Welcome home, Coach. You're still a part of our family. Don't think we'll ever forget that.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Addicted To Quack

You must be a member of Addicted To Quack to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Addicted To Quack. You should read them.

Join Addicted To Quack

You must be a member of Addicted To Quack to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Addicted To Quack. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker