Virginia head coach Tony Bennett has been named the 2018 Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year. It’s the second time Bennett has won the award in his career; the first came in 2007, when he was the head coach at Washington State.
Bennett’s Cavaliers set a program record with 31 wins this season, and finished 31-3, setting a program record for the best winning percentage (.912) when playing at least 20 games.
Virginia went 17-1 in the ACC this season, and proceeded to win the conference tournament, defeating North Carolina in the conference title game.
The Cavaliers’ calling card this season was their defense, which ranked first in the country in points allowed per game, ceding on average just 54 points each time out. And on offense, the Cavaliers committed the fewest total turnovers of any team in the country, tallying just 290 in 34 games.
Bennett’s team also ranked in the Top 50 nationally in three point percentage: (.383, 41st) and free throw percentage: (.754, 46th).
Virginia was the overall 1-seed in this year’s NCAA tournament and was toppled by 16-seed UMBC in the first round, becoming the first 1-seed to lose its opening matchup against a 16-seed in the history of the tournament.
Here’s a complete list of every men’s Naismith Coach of the Year winner:
|2014||Gregg Marshall||Wichita State|
|2013||Jim Larrañaga||Miami (FL)|
|2011||Steve Fisher||San Diego State|
|2007||Tony Bennett||Washington State|
|2004||Phil Martelli||St. Joe's|
|1998||Bill Guthridge||North Carolina|
|1993||Dean Smith||North Carolina|
|1991||Randy Ayers||Ohio Sate|
|1990||Bobby Cremins||Georgia Tech|