Tony Bennett Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Tony Bennett    

Head Basketball Coach at the University of Virginia

Anthony Guy Bennett is an American basketball coach and former player. He has been the head men's basketball coach at the University of Virginia since March 31, 2009. Prior to coaching at UVA, Bennet spent four years coaching at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and six years at Washington State, both following in the footsteps of his father.

Bennett is the only living three-time winner of the Henry Iba Award for national coach of the year, second only the late UCLA coach, John Wooden. He also is a two-time winner of similar honors from the Associated Press and Naismith. Bennett has been ranked as the best defensive coach in college basketball in a 2015 CBS Sports poll of head coaches and in a 2018 list by ESPN Insider.

Bennett led the UVA Cavaliers victory at the NCAA Tournament Championship in 2019, ACC Tournaments in 2014 and in 2018, and finished first in the ACC standings of 2014, 2015, 2018, and 2019. He holds school records for single-season wins and career winning percentage at both Virginia and Washington State. Bennett is the first coach to win 17 ACC games in a season, one of three in ACC history to achieve back-to-back 30-win seasons, and a four-time ACC Coach of the Year.

The style of basketball he teaches has often been compared to a boa constrictor choking out opponents, and his teams are known for their unselfish play, defense-first philosophy, and tempo control.

As a player, Bennett ranks first in NCAA history for career three-point field goal accuracy, at 49.7%, peaking at 53.3% in 1990–91. He started for Team USA in the 1991 Pan American Games, was awarded the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award as the nation's top player under six feet tall, and was named Academic All-American of the Year as the nation's top basketball student-athlete.

Bennett played at Green Bay for his father Dick Bennett, who took Wisconsin to the 2000 Final Four using an earlier version of the pack-line defense seen today at Virginia.

Bennett played three years in the NBA for the Charlotte Hornets and several more professionally in Australia and New Zealand, where he started coaching.

He is just the third former NBA player to win the NCAA Championship as a head coach. The time he spent in Oceania led him to later recruit several players from that region of the world into college basketball, including Aussie Aron Baynes who went on to win an NBA Championship ring with the San Antonio Spurs.

Related Speakers View all


More like Tony