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Adam Hermann | | April 1, 2018

Virginia's Tony Bennett named Naismith Coach of the Year

  Bennett led the Cavaliers to a 31-3 record this season.

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. 

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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:

Year Coach School
2018 Tony Bennett Virginia
2017 Mark Few Gonzaga
2016 Jay Wright Villanova
2015 John Calipari Kentucky
2014 Gregg Marshall Wichita State
2013 Jim Larrañaga Miami (FL)
2012 Bill Self Kansas
2011 Steve Fisher San Diego State
2010 Jim Boeheim Syracuse
2009 Jamie Dixon Pittsburgh
2008 John Calipari Memphis
2007 Tony Bennett Washington State
2006 Jay Wright Villanova
2005 Bruce Weber Illinois
2004 Phil Martelli St. Joe's
2003 Tubby Smith Kentucky
2002 Ben Howland Pittsburgh
2001 Rod Barnes Mississippi
2000 Mike Montgomery Stanford
1999 Mike Krzyzewski Duke
1998 Bill Guthridge North Carolina
1997 Roy Williams Kansas
1996 John Calipari Massachusetts
1995 Jim Harrick UCLA
1994 Nolan Richardson Arkansas
1993 Dean Smith North Carolina
1992 Mike Krzyzewski Duke
1991 Randy Ayers Ohio Sate
1990 Bobby Cremins Georgia Tech
1989 Mike Krzyzewski Duke
1988 Larry Brown Kansas
1987 Bob Knight Indiana

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