Virginia Director of Athletics Craig Littlepage announced Tuesday (June 3) the University has signed men’s basketball head coach Tony Bennett to a new 7-year contract through the 2020-21 season. The contract replaces an extension to Bennett’s original contract signed in 2012 that was scheduled to end following the 2018-19 season.
“We are pleased with Coach Bennett’s commitment to the University of Virginia,” Littlepage said. “Tony believes in the goals of the athletics department and the mission of the University. The vision he had for our program when he accepted the head coaching position is developing according to his plan. It will be exciting to watch the development of our players and the program in the coming years.”
In 2013-14, Bennett was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year after guiding the Cavaliers to ACC regular season and tournament championships in the same season for the first time in school history. 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.”
Bennett’s annual base salary and supplemental compensation will increase to $1.924 million. The new contract includes $1.4 million in longevity bonuses over the life of the contract as well as a buyout provision. Compensation will be funded from Athletics Department funds and the Athletics Department does not receive state funding.