USBWA names Virginia's Tony Bennett the 2014-15 Coach of the Year

March 24, 2015

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has announced that Virginia's Tony Bennett is the 2014-15 recipient of the Henry Iba Award, presented annually to the national coach of the year. The award, voted on by the entire membership of the USBWA, is based on regular-season performance.

"Tony Bennett is no longer a rising star in the coaching ranks; he is an established winner," said USBWA President Dana O'Neil of "This year he led the Cavaliers to their second consecutive ACC regular-season title, earning the top spot in the league despite playing for a long stretch without one of his best players. On behalf of the USBWA, it is my pleasure and privilege to honor Tony Bennett."

In his sixth season at Virginia, Bennett, 45, led the Cavaliers to a 30-4 record, which tied the school record for wins in a season set last season and in 1982-83. Although Virginia was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament this past weekend by Michigan State, the Cavaliers won the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title for the second straight season.

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, joinining 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).

Bennett, the ACC Coach of the Year, guided the Cavaliers to a national ranking as high as No. 2, and the No. 2 seed in the East Region.  Bennett's career mark at Virginia is a stellar 136-64 (.680 winning percentage).

Including this season, the Clintonville, Wis., native now boasts a 205-97 (.679 winning percentage) overall career record in nine seasons as a college head coach. Prior to coming to Virginia, Bennett was 69-33 in three seasons at Washington State, including two NCAA Tournament appearances.

The Henry Iba Award is named in honor of the legendary Oklahoma State coach who won 655 games and two national championships in 36 seasons.

By Staff of and news services

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