Arts | Entertainment | Sports 2023: TONY BENNETT
DEAN AND MARKEL FAMILIES MEN’S HEAD BASKETBALL COACH, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, CHARLOTTESVILLE
The No. 4-seeded Cavaliers suffered a painful loss to No.13-seed Furman University in the first round of this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament, but Bennett — who this season became the winningest coach in the team’s history — took the setback in stride, celebrating the Cavaliers’ 25th appearance at the Big Dance and 11th ACC regular-season championship.
Now in his 15th year with the team, Bennett has become an institution in Charlottesville, being named AP and Naismith’s national coach of the year for the 2017-18 season and leading the Wahoos to the team’s first NCAA championship in 2019. The son of college basketball coach Dick Bennett, Bennett arrived in Charlottesville in 2009 after three seasons as head coach at Washington State, where his father had coached.
A former point guard with the Charlotte Hornets, he is one of only four former NBA players to serve as head coach for an NCAA men’s basketball championship team. Bennett also made headlines for turning down a pay raise in 2019, when he extended his contract through 2025-26, instead asking U.Va. to spend the money on his staff and program improvements for the team.