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Washington State announces the hiring of EWU’s David Riley as its next head coach

David Riley has been hired as the new head coach at Washington State, the school announced on Tuesday evening. Riley has been at Eastern Washington for the last thirteen seasons, spending the last three as head coach and leading the Eagles to back-to-back Big Sky titles.

“We are thrilled to have David Riley leading our men’s basketball program as we look to build on this season’s success,” said AD Anne McCoy. “Throughout the process, Dave’s coaching acumen was evident as was his ability to create a winning culture. In just three seasons, he has emphasized player development through a fast-paced, high powered offense that allows his student-athletes to play free and confidently. We’re excited to begin the David Riley-era at Washington State and welcome he and Emily to the Cougar family.”

Riley, 35, will be the first head coach of Wazzu’s new era as an associate member of the WCC, as the Pac-12 lost the majority of its members to conference realignment over the last year. This will still be a nice step up for the two-time Big Sky Coach of the Year, who was born in Seattle and raised in the Bay Area, later returning to Washington to play for Jim Hayford at D-III Whitworth in Spokane.

He got his start coaching under Hayford, as well, joining his staff at EWU in 2011 as a graduate assistant and becoming a full-time assistant two year later. In ten seasons on staff, Riley was part of two NCAA Tournaments (2015 and 2021) and three CBIs. He then led the Eagles to the 2022 TBC and 2023 NIT as head coach himself.

“I am incredibly grateful to President Schulz, Interim AD Anne McCoy and the athletic department leadership team for allowing me the opportunity to lead the men’s basketball program. WSU is a dream job and embodies everything that college athletics is about,” said Riley. “I’m excited to build on the foundation that has been laid here. We look forward to recruiting and retaining student athletes who want to be here and understand how special it is on the Palouse. I can’t wait to get to work for the best fan base in the state, Go Cougs!”

The Cougars are coming off a strong final season in the Pac-12, with Kyle Smith leading the team to 25 wins and their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008. Smith left last month to take over at Stanford, which is headed to the ACC.


credit to Washington State Athletics for the image