When Virginia hired Tony Bennett in 2009, he put together a stellar coaching staff, which somehow managed to remain intact for six full seasons, practically unheard of in the competitive and dynamic field. Ritchie McKay's decision to return to Liberty University as head coach gave Bennett the opportunity to make his first assistant coach hire, and reports are that Brad Soderberg, former coach at Lindenwood University, has accepted the job. No official release has been offered yet by the University.
Soderberg is a close associate of the Bennett family, both personally and professionally. Soderberg played for Tony's father, Dick Bennett, at UW-Stevens Point and coached under him at Wisconsin, later taking over as interim head coach after Bennett's retirement. (He was ultimately replaced by Bo Ryan). He remained close to the Bennetts, telling David Teel about Tony earlier this year, "I knew no matter what he aspired to do, he would be exceptional," and noting that he "would do anything for [the Bennetts]"
He's also a close strategic mind to the Bennetts, as a disciple of the Pack-Line defense. He literally wrote the
book pamphlet on the system with Dick Bennett. And made the DVD (available on Amazon!).
After his time in Wisconsin, Soderberg worked as an assistant and head coach with Saint Louis for 5 seasons, then moved on to Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO. During Soderberg's 6 seasons at Lindenwood, where he oversaw the program's transition to Division II three years ago, his teams were a combined 127-57, 47-40 after completing the team's transition from the NAIA to D-II.
Ritchie McKay's shoes are tough ones to fill. As Jason Williford put it, "Ritchie's role is the other head coach;" for that reason, hiring another experienced coach, who is already an expert on Virginia's system, makes a lot of sense.