CHARLOTTESVILLE (WTVR) – UVA rewarded basketball head coach Tony Bennett with a new contract that replaces the contract extension he signed in 2012. Bennett’s new deal now runs through the 2020-21 season and will up his pay 13%.
Bennett’s salary rises to $1.924 million, and the deal also includes $1.4 million in longevity bonuses over the life of the deal. He will get a $1 million bonus after 5 years and $1.4 million after year 7.
Reports out of Charlottesville say that Bennett asked for less money for himself in order to reward assistant coaches with bigger raises and add new positions to the program.
Bennett was named ACC coach of the year this year after winning the ACC regular season and tournament titles in the same year for the first time in UVA history. He was also contacted by several NBA teams about coaching vacancies after the Cavaliers’ Sweet 16 run this past March.
Bennett led the Cavaliers to a school-record tying 30 victories as Virginia earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and gained its first NCAA Sweet 16 berth since 1995. He was also named the National Association of Basketball Coaches District 2 Coach of the Year and U.S. Basketball Writers Association District 3 Coach of the Year. Bennett has a 106-60 record in five seasons in Charlottesville, improving the Cavaliers’ record every season. He has led UVa to postseason appearances in each of the last three seasons.
“I’m thankful for receiving this new contract,” Bennett said. “I love coaching at the University of Virginia and living in Charlottesville where the community has been wonderful to my family. I feel we are building something special here and this commitment by the University is another great step towards ensuring we continue to compete at a high level.”
“The outstanding performance of the basketball program this past season is a direct result of a vision to position the program for success for the long term,” Littlepage added. “It started with a desire to build one of the finest basketball facilities in the country and that was accomplished through the incredible support of our donors to build John Paul Jones Arena. The next step was to hire a basketball coach who would embrace our goals with an ability to compete at a high level, first in the ACC and then on the national stage. Coach Bennett, his staff and the student-athletes have embodied uncompromised excellence in a way that has inspired all of us who love the University of Virginia. In a newly-expanded conference, continuity of staff as well as a commitment to operational resources and facility support will need to remain a priority and it will require our collective support to ensure the program can continue to thrive.”