New contract makes UVA basketball coach Tony Bennett third-highest paid in ACC

bennettWisconsin basketball coach Bo Ryan’s announcement that he will retire in 2016 had UVA fans worried. There’s less reason to worry now.

For the second time in less than a year, the University of Virginia athletics department has reworked basketball coach Tony Bennett’s contract, with a new deal that will pay him $2.1 million a year beginning in 2015-2016, with annual 5 percent increases, and automatic one-year extensions after each of the first three years of the contract, which runs through 2021.

The average salary makes Bennett, who is 136-64 in seven seasons at Virginia, the third-highest paid coach in the ACC, trailing only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Louisville’s Rick Pitino.

UVA has won 30 games each of the past two seasons, with ACC regular-season titles in 2014 and 2015, and the ACC Tournament championship in 2014.

In addition to boosting Bennett’s salary, the new deal also increases the buyout for Bennett to be able to leave, were he to be interested in pursuing other opportunities, to $3 million, between now and 2018, decreasing to $1 million after the 2017-2018 season.

The contract also includes a number of incentives, including a $1 million longevity bonus if Bennett is still coach after the 2018-2019 season, another $400,000 if he is still coach following the 2020-2021 season, and a $400,000 bonus if the Cavs reach an NCAA title game in his tenure.


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