UVA head men’s basketball coach Tony Bennett voted National Coach of the Year

Posted at 4:41 PM, Mar 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-29 16:41:13-04

Head coach Tony Bennett of the Virginia Cavaliers. (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia’s Tony Bennett was named the Associated Press (AP) Men’s College Basketball Coach of the Year, announced Thursday.

Bennett, who earned his second career AP national coach of the year honor, led Virginia to the ACC regular-season championship, ACC Tournament title and school-record 31 wins in 2017-18.

Tony Bennett coaches. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)

This season, Virginia was picked sixth in the ACC in the preseason and was unranked in the national preseason polls. But under Bennett, the Cavaliers nearly swept their conference schedule (17-1) while earning a third outright ACC regular-season title in the last five seasons and third ACC Tournament title in school history. Bennett guided UVA to its first No. 1 ranking since 1982 and the Cavaliers became only the fourth team in the Top-25 era (1990-present) to earn a No. 1 ranking after being unranked in the preseason (Kansas, 1990; Syracuse, 2010; and Baylor, 2017).

Bennett is 219-86 (.718) in nine seasons at Virginia and 288-119 (.708) in 12 seasons overall. He has guided the Cavaliers to a school-best seven straight 20-win seasons and five straight NCAA Tournament appearances.

Bennett earned his first AP men’s college basketball coach of the year honor at Washington State in 2007.