March 31, 2009
Tony Bennett will be the next head men's basketball coach at the University of Virginia. The announcement was confirmed on Monday by Washington State University. A private plane carrying Bennett arrived in the middle of the night at Charlottesville's airport. The coach stepped into a stretch limousine and was whisked away.
Bennett was expected to meet with his new team Tuesday afternoon.
A University of Virginia official told the Associated Press that an announcement from UVa is expected Wednesday.
Sources also told CBS19 that Bennett toured John Paul Jones Arena last Thursday night.
The 39-year-old has been head coach at Washington State for three years, accumulating a record of 68-30, including three postseason appearances. Before that he served as an assistant in the program under his father, Dick Bennett.
The younger Bennett was the Associated Press College Basketball Coach of the Year following the 2006-2007 season.
This past season, Bennett's team finished 16-13 and reached the NIT. 2007-2008 saw Washington State reach the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament and the second round in the season prior.
Bennett replaces Dave Leitao, who resigned earlier this month after four seasons with UVa.
Washington State athletic director Jim Sterk held a teleconference on Monday night to address the situation. Sterk told reporters that he felt "disappointed, not betrayed" by Bennett's move to Virginia.
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