April 1, 2018
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia’s Tony Bennett was named the 2018 Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year, announced Sunday (April 1).
Bennett, who earned his second career Naismith coach of the year honor, led Virginia to its eighth ACC regular-season championship, third ACC Tournament title and school-record 31 wins in 2017-18.
In 2017-18, Virginia was picked sixth in the ACC in the preseason and was unranked in the national preseason polls. But under Bennett, the Cavaliers nearly swept their conference schedule (17-1) while earning a third outright ACC regular-season title in the last five seasons and second ACC Tournament title since 2014. Bennett guided UVA to its first No. 1 ranking since 1982 and the Cavaliers became only the fourth team in the Top-25 era (1990-present) to earn a No. 1 ranking after being unranked in the preseason (Kansas, 1990; Syracuse, 2010; and Baylor, 2017).
Bennett is 219-86 (.718) in nine seasons at Virginia and 288-119 (.708) in 12 seasons overall. He has guided the Cavaliers to a school-best seven straight 20-win seasons and five straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
Bennett earned his first Naismith college basketball coach of the year honor at Washington State in 2007.