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Originally published Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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WSU fills staff with Jeff Hironaka

Jeff Hironaka, Seattle Pacific men's basketball coach, is leaving to become an assistant at Washington State, it was announced Wednesday...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Jeff Hironaka, Seattle Pacific men's basketball coach, is leaving to become an assistant at Washington State, it was announced Wednesday. Hironaka becomes the final member of the three-man assistant coaching staff for new head coach Ken Bone.

Hironaka, 52, was an assistant for Bone for 11 years at SPU, then succeeded him as head coach when Bone left to become an assistant at UW in 2002.

Hironaka had a 134-67 record in seven seasons at SPU, leading the Falcons into the NCAA Division II tournament each of the past five years.

Hironaka joins former UW player Curtis Allen and holdover Ben Johnson on Bone's staff at WSU.

"As far as Washington State, it's a chance to work with coach Bone again and coach in the Pac-10," Hironaka said in a statement released by SPU. "You always want to see if you can compete against bigger-name schools and coaches. Obviously I'm not calling the shots, but hopefully I am involved in the strategy of how we play those teams.

"The exciting thing is to go over there and see if we can get the program constantly going to the [NCAA] tournament. We've got a lot of work ahead of us, but it's a challenge I'm looking forward to."

Seattle Pacific will now seek to hire a new head coach to replace Hironaka.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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