UVA basketball coach Tony Bennett promotes Williford, Vandross on staff

virginia basketballVirginia assistant basketball coach Jason Williford has been promoted to associate head coach and Orlando Vandross has been elevated to assistant coach, head coach Tony Bennett announced Tuesday (April 17).

Williford, who has served as an assistant coach for the past nine seasons under Bennett, has helped the Cavaliers capture three ACC regular-season championships, two ACC Tournament titles and six NCAA Tournament appearances. UVA has won 30 or more games in three of the past five seasons and reached No. 1 in the AP rankings this season for the first time since 1982.

A former Virginia player, Williford was an assistant coach at American University for four years and an assistant coach at Boston University for five years. American won the Patriot League Championship and participated in the NCAA Tournament in each of his last two seasons with the program. During Williford’s final four years at Boston University, the Terriers earned an NCAA Tournament berth in 2002 and then participated in the National Invitation Tournament for three consecutive years.

A native of Richmond, Va., Williford is a 1995 graduate of Virginia. During his four years as a member of the UVA men’s basketball team, the Cavaliers won the NIT in 1992 and participated in the NCAA Tournament three times.

“One of the best decisions I made when I first got the job here was to hire Jason Williford,” Bennett said. “His loyalty to our program, his passion for the players and his ability to recruit made this an easy decision.”

Vandross served the past three seasons at UVA as director of recruiting/player development. Vandross has 18 years of Division I coaching experience. From 2011-15, Vandross spent five seasons as an assistant coach for Charlotte after serving 13 seasons as an assistant at Boston University, including three as associate head coach.

During Vandross’ time at Charlotte, the 49ers captured the 2013 Great Alaska Shootout and 2014 Puerto Rico Tip-Off titles and earned a bid to the 2013 NIT. In 2012-13, the 49ers won 21 games which marked the program’s first 20-win season since 2007-08. In addition, Charlotte posted a victory over a top 15 program in three of his five seasons.

Vandross joined BU’s staff in 1997 and helped the Terriers to four postseason appearances, including one NCAA Tournament and three NIT appearances. He also coached four American East Rookies of the Year and nine All-America East first-team selections. A graduate of American International College (AIC) in Springfield (Mass.) in 1992, Vandross ranks 13th in scoring at AIC and is third on the career assist list.

“I am really excited for Orlando and this opportunity,” Bennett added. “Throughout his coaching career, he has built many relationships in the recruiting world that can benefit our program. Orlando’s helped us get involved with a lot of players during his three years at UVA. He’s driven, has strong character and extensive knowledge of the game.”


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