Bennett Named USBWA National Coach of the Year
March 23, 2015
ST. LOUIS – Sixth-year Virginia head coach Tony Bennett was named 2014-15 U.S. Basketball Writers Association Henry Iba National Coach of the Year, announced Monday (March 23) by USBWA. The award is based on regular-season performance.
Bennett guided Virginia to a 30-4 overall record and a 16-2 ACC finish that produced the program’s second consecutive outright regular-season conference title. The 30 wins matched the school record set in 1982 and 2014.
The Cavaliers, who were picked to finish fourth in the ACC, became the first ACC school to win 16 or more games in back-to-back seasons. Bennett’s Cavaliers lead the nation in scoring defense at 51.5 points per game and Virginia has been ranked in the top 10 the entire season.
Under Bennett’s guidance, Virginia secured its third straight season with 23 or more wins for the first time since 1981-83. Bennett’s career mark at Virginia is a stellar 136-64 (.680 winning percentage).
Bennett, the Henry Iba Award winner in the 2006-07 at Washington State, is the ninth coach to earn the award more than once and the second to win it at two different schools. Roy Williams has won the award at Kansas (1990) and North Carolina (2006). The legendary John Wooden was named the USBWA National Coach of the Year six times, joining five other coaches to win it twice (Lou Carnesecca of St. John’s, John Chaney of Temple, Gene Keady of Purdue, Bob Knight of Indiana, Ray Meyer of DePaul and Fred Taylor of Ohio State).