Virginia Coach Tony Bennett receives contract extension, raise

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

About time!

After an immensely successful season, consisting of ACC regular season and tournament championships, a number 1 NCAA seed, and a Sweet 16 appearance, Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett has received a (well-deserved) raise as part of a new contract that will run 7 years.

His new deal pays him $1.924 million per season, and runs through the 2020-2021 season.

It also consists of a hefty total of $1.4 million in longevity bonuses - $1 million to be paid after the 2019 season and $400,000 after 2021 - and a $1.4 million buyout, which decreases by $200,000 each year of the contract.  It also contains substantial bonuses, as his previous deal did, including but not limited to $50,000 for an NCAA apperance, $100,000 for an ACC tourney title, Sweet 16, or national COY, $250,000 for an Elite 8 and Final 4 appearance, and $400,000 for a national title.

According to Mark Gianotto of the Washington Post, Bennett, requested less money in order to give raises to his assistants and add new positions to his staff...because of course he did.  Per Blogger So Dear's list of ACC salaries, Bennett is now the 6th-highest paid head coach in the ACC, behind Coach K, Rick Pitino, Leonard Hamilton, Buzz Williams, and Mark Gottfried.

The deal is still a raise from the $1.7 million he made under his initial contract, signed in 2009 and extended (at the same compensation) in 2012.

"I'm thankful for receiving this new contract," Bennett told VirginiaSports.com. "I love coaching at the University of Virginia and living in Charlottesville where the community has been wonderful to my family. I feel we are building something special here and this commitment by the University is another great step towards ensuring we continue to compete at a high level."

The announcement comes just a week after Whitey Reid reported that Virginia's assistant coaches had received new contracts.  Ritchie McKay signed a 5-year contract through 2019 paying him $179,800 base salary and $155,000 "supplemental," while Jason Williford and Ron Sanchez each got deals through 2018 with a a $225,000 base salary.  These are in addition to bonuses that they'll receive that depend on UVA's NCAA Tournament performance.

Director of basketball operations Brad Soucie also signed a contract through 2018 worth a base of $118,450 per year.

While Wahoo fans have been eagerly awaiting news on Coach Bennett's contract ever since it was reported that negotiations were underway soon after the season ended, it's clear that his first priority was ensuring that his staff was taken care of.

Virginia has enjoyed full continuity of its entire coaching staff for the 5 years that Bennett has been at the helm, and the head coach constantly praises what they do for the team.  This type of continuity is exceedingly rare these days, especially for such an accomplished staff.  For years, it's been said that it's only a matter of time until one of the assistants leaves for a head-coaching job elsewhere; that's still true, but the new contracts are at least an indication that all 3 assistant coaches are focused on their present at UVA for now.

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