clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Virginia Hires Tony Bennett

What a relief.

Sources have confirmed that Washington State coach Tony Bennett is Virginia’s new men’s basketball coach.

Bennett, 39, is the son of former Wisconsin-Green Bay coach Dick Bennett. He played for his father at UWGB.

According to sources, he has been described as “a young Mike Krzyzewski” and has previously turned down offers from LSU, Marquette and Indiana.

Having just finished his third year at Washington State, Bennett owns a 68-30 (.694) overall record with the Cougars. This season’s team compiled a 16-13 overall record (8-9 in the Pac-10) and reached the NIT, where the Cougars were eliminated in the first round. His previous two teams both made it to the NCAA tournament, including a Sweet 16 finish in 2007-08.

I'm not going to say Tony Bennett is a bad coach (though "a young Mike Krzyzewski" is a big-time stretch). He really brought Wazzu back to relevancy, which is tough to do.

That said, I'm very happy with this hire (as one of UVa's rivals). He slows down the pace way too much (Washington State averaged 59 ppg this year), and he's only won with his father's recruits. He's only had one nationally ranked recruiting class since becoming coach at Wazzu (#29). As soon as his recruits stepped up into a leading role (this year) they went to the NIT.

UVa definitely could've done worse. In fact, for UVa, he's not a bad hire. But he's not a Jeff Capel, or even a Tubby Smith. He's definitely not going to excite the fanbase, or fill up that new stadium. His brand of basketball is just too boring. It's not Sid Lowe, but I'm not feeling too bad right now.