Cougar Corner | WSU Adds Jeff Hironaka to Cougar Basketball Staff

Lew WrightSenior Writer IApril 25, 2009

OMAHA, NE - MARCH 20:  Head coach Ken Bone of the Portland State Vikings coaches against the Kansas Jayhawks during the Midwest Region first round of the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on March 20, 2008 at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Nebraska.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Washington State basketball coach Ken Bone continues to make decisive moves.

This afternoon Coach Bone named the final addition to his coaching staff, Jeff Hironaka, who leaves the head coaching job at Seattle Pacific.

“Jeff will be an outstanding addition to our staff here at Washington State,” coach Bone said.

Coach Hironaka succeeded Bone as the head coach at SPU prior to the beginning of the 2002-03 season. For the past seven seasons, he led the Falcons to an overall record of 134-67 highlighted by five consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament.

The decision Hironaka made to join coach Bone in Pullman was a tough one. He had been at Seattle Pacific since 1991, serving as an assistant for 11 years and eight as head coach.

Hironaka's 11-year stint as chief aide to coach Bone stands as longest of any assistant in the history of Falcon basketball.

There is the obvious comparison with the two men in their departure from Seattle Pacific. Coach Bone left to become an assistant at Washington and gain Pac-10/Division I coaching experience. Hironaka is doing one better by choosing WSU as his step up to Pac-10/Division I.

How good a coach is Jeff Hironaka?

His first season as the Falcons' head coach was the second best debut in the history of Seattle Pacific, posting a 16-11 record. Hironaka's teams earned a winning record every year, the best being a 20-9 finish in 2005. Add to that the 2006 NABC West Region Coach of the Year and a two-time Great Northwest Athletic Conference Coach of the Year awards.

Don't take my word for it, coach Hironaka's record tells it like it is. He's a good coach.

Hironaka has more than 20 years of bench experience and an extensive network of contacts in the college game.

Before coming to SPU, he served on the staff at Idaho State from 1987-90. While at there he completed his master’s in sports administration.

Coach Hironaka was also an assistant coach and assistant athletic director at The Master’s College in Newhall, Calif. 

There was both excitement and praise in coach Bone's announcement today.

“We have a long lasting relationship which includes 11 years of working together at Seattle Pacific University," coach Bone said.

"Jeff brings a wealth of coaching experience as both an assistant and head coach where he has had a tremendous amount of success. His energy and passion for the game are second to none.”

Jeff Hironaka is another Northwest guy. Growing up in Weiser, Idaho, he was an All-Snake River Conference guard in high school before going on to Eastern Oregon, where he was a three-year varsity letter man.

He earned his bachelor's degree in secondary education at Eastern Oregon in 1980.

Now that the basketball staff is complete, coach Bone can focus on players, recruits, and prospects.

After all, that's what coach Bone does best.

Orignally published on
For up-to-the-moment, real-time news about Cougar athletics, follow Lew Wright on cougarlew