Home Mailbag: Any changes to the Tony Bennett coaching staff coming anytime soon?

Mailbag: Any changes to the Tony Bennett coaching staff coming anytime soon?

Chris Graham
tony bennett
Photo: UVA Athletics

We know Tony Bennett has had remarkable success as the captain of the ship. Not to underscore or take away from the natty and all the regular-season accolades, but I can’t help but wonder if the continued inability to be relevant in March may, dare I say it, cost him his job?

I’ve stated he has the keys to the city for the accomplishments, and I don’t think he’s going anywhere. But we’ve seen several championship-caliber coaches, with the current bold new world of NIL and whatnot, say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” I mean, who saw the Jay Wright resignation coming? I sure didn’t.

Don’t wanna sound like Scott German here, lol, but how long is the leash (if there is one) for Tony? Have you heard of any evolution or change coming with the coaching staff or personnel?

I believe this coming season will not be do-or-die, but you gotta wonder if the administration and boosters are starting to get a little antsy.

Bryan Paul Hagen

On the one hand, you almost have to say, right, that there is no leash on Tony Bennett. On the other hand …

Word coming out of the Final Four, which in addition to being the semifinals and finals of the NCAA Tournament, is also a palooza for coaches, those gainfully employed, those seeking new jobs, those seeking to get back into the business, the rest, is that there might, kinda, sorta, be a bit of a leash on Bennett, not directly on him, but on him needing to shake up his staff.

One assistant who was at the Final Four is telling us that the word making its way ‘round is that there is some pressure coming from the administration for Bennett to get some diversity of thought on the staff.

It wasn’t known what Bennett’s reaction to this might have been, and keep in mind, this is just scuttlebutt, though considering the source, I’d classify it as informed scuttlebutt.

This, if it’s true, is as far I can imagine things getting with Bennett, who has absolutely earned the right to decide the day and time of his departure from UVA, which I think most of us, even his critics in the fan base, hope is 20 years from now, if that soon.

Virginia is not Kentucky, which pushed John Calipari out the door because he only won one national title and went to four Final Fours in his tenure, and anyway, look at how all that worked out for UK?

Is Big Blue Nation better off with Mark Pope, whose resume is two NCAA Tournament appearances (and two first-round exits) in nine seasons at Utah Valley and BYU?

Be careful what you wish for, is my word of warning to the UVA fans who think Virginia can do better.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].