Washington State's Ernie Kent starts game on Idaho bench after bid on charity package

Washington State coach Ernie Kent started Wednesday's game against Idaho in an unusual spot -- on the Vandals' bench next to coach Don Verlin.

In the offseason, Kent bid $2,000 to win an item in a live charity auction that included an all-access pass to one of Idaho's games this season.

Verlin said the package -- which was auctioned during the 15th annual Coaches vs. Cancer gala in Spokane, Washington -- included a chance to attend Idaho's pregame shootaround, pregame meal and pregame talk in the locker room, as well as sit on the bench and even call the first play of the game.

Kent spent the first 30 seconds Wednesday night next to Verlin before the two shook hands and Kent departed for his own bench.

Kent said it ranked near the top of his favorite coaching memories, as it brought awareness to trying to find a cure for cancer. Both coaches lost their fathers to cancer.

"I don't think anybody's ever seen that anywhere in the country, where opposing coaches stood on one side of the field, sat on another team's bench, sat in another team's dugout," Kent said. "But that's not the importance of what transpired. It was the fact that you have coaches, again coaches, standing up for such a worthy cause."

Washington State-Idaho is the oldest continuous rivalry west of the Mississippi. The two campuses are less than 10 miles apart, and the two teams play every season, alternating home venues. Washington State was victorious at home Wednesday night, winning 61-48 and snapping a two-game losing streak to the Vandals.

The all-time series record belongs to the Cougars, who have won 162 meetings compared to Idaho's 109.

ESPN's Jeff Goodman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.