UVa. coach Tony Bennett named ACC Coach of the YearPublished Tuesday, Mar. 11, 2014, 1:43 pm
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In 2013-14, Bennett has guided Virginia to a 25-6 overall record and a 16-2 ACC finish that produced the program’s first outright regular-season conference title since 1981. The Cavaliers, who were picked to finish fourth in the preseason by media in attendance at the ACC’s Operation Basketball, tied the conference record for league wins in a season and will head to this week’s ACC Tournament in Greensboro as the No. 1 seed.
Bennett’s Virginia team has allowed an ACC-low 55.4 points per game and has forced opponents to shoot a collective 38.4 percent. Virginia’s 13 consecutive wins from January 18 through March 1 are a school record. Bennett was the choice of 68 ACSMA voters as the ACC Coach of the Year. North Carolina’s Roy Williams was second with six votes.
Virginia clinched its third consecutive ACC winning season (16-2, 11-7, 9-7) for the first time since 1981-83. With 16 ACC wins, Virginia joined Georgia Tech (1982-86) as the only ACC schools to improve their ACC records in five consecutive seasons. Virginia also set a school record with by winning 12 ACC games by 10 or more points.
Under Bennett’s guidance, Virginia secured its third straight 20-win season for the first time since 1991-93. The Cavaliers are also one of three teams in the nation to improve its win total in each of the past five seasons.
In 2006-07, Bennett earned U.S. Basketball Writers Association National Coach of the Year and Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors as head coach at washington state. He is a top-10 finalist for the USBWA National Coach of the Year this season.
No. 1 seed Virginia (25-6, 16-2 ACC) will play No. 8 seed Maryland or No. 9 seed Florida State in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals on Friday, March 14. Tipoff at Greensboro Coliseum is set for 12 p.m. ET.