Former Columbia coach Kyle Smith named coach at Washington State

Kyle Smith went from the Big Apple to the City by the Bay in 2016.

Three seasons later, he’s headed for the Palouse.

The former Columbia coach was announced as the new Washington State men’s basketball coach Wednesday after three seasons at the helm at San Francisco.

Read moreFormer Columbia coach Kyle Smith named coach at Washington State

Kyle Smith’s departure from Columbia puts Ivy League at a crossroads

The only thing surprising about the news was its timing: hours before Columbia was set to host UC Irvine in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament final, a report that coach Kyle Smith would accept the same position at the University of San Francisco as soon as Thursday emerged from TV station KPIX.

Smith’s departure, confirmed with an announcement from USF Tuesday, has been a topic of discussion for years, more so now after he coached the Lions this year to what is one of their best seasons ever — a school-record 25 wins, plus the first postseason championship banner of any kind in Levien Gym. Add in the fact that three head coaching jobs opened up in the West Coast Conference this year — where Smith spent almost a decade as an assistant at Saint Mary’s — and the concept became more “probability” than “possibility.”

Read moreKyle Smith’s departure from Columbia puts Ivy League at a crossroads