Bennett gets a new contract, will take home $1.9 million per year

UVA men's basketball head coach Tony Bennett stands with player London Perrantes. Photo: UVA Athletics UVA men's basketball head coach Tony Bennett stands with player London Perrantes. Photo: UVA Athletics

UVA basketball coach Tony Bennett has signed a contract that ties him to Virginia for several more years and ups his base salary 13 percent to $1.924 million.

“We are pleased with Coach Bennett’s commitment to the University of Virginia,” said UVA Director of Athletics Craig Littlepage in a news release this week. “Tony believes in the goals of the athletics department and the mission of the University. The vision he had for our program when he accepted the head coaching position is developing according to his plan. It will be exciting to watch the development of our players and the program in the coming years.”

This spring, Bennett’s fifth at UVA, saw the men’s basketball team fight its way through a 13-game winning streak to clinch the regular-season ACC title and a number-one seed in the team’s first Sweet 16 appearance since 1995. The team tied the school record for victories with 30 wins before losing to Michigan State in the third round of the NCAA tournament.

The new contract, which replaces a previous extension set to end after the 2018-19 season, extends Bennett’s commitment through 2020-21. Besides the base salary bump, it includes $1.4 million in longevity bonuses and a buyout provision. Littlepage noted that the compensation will come from the Athletics Department budget, which doesn’t receive state funding.

“I’m thankful for receiving this new contract,” Bennett said in the release. “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 Charlottesville Newsplex reported last week that the men’s assistant coaches had already signed contract renewals. Associate head coach Ritchie McKay’s contract now runs through 2019, with a base salary of $179,800, supplemental compensation of $155,000, and a $9,000 car allowance. Assistant coaches Jason Williford and Ron Sanchez signed new four-year contracts with salaries of $225,000.

  • PG Tipps

    Tony Bennett is such a wonderful role model and coach. He brought a team that stood head and shoulders above others for teamwork and sportsmanship in the NCAA’s this past year. And it’s a high pressure job, but the man is coaching guys to bounce a ball and put it through a hoop. He’s being paid 1.9 million dollars for this? Divorce the discussion from ticket/media revenues and market salary levels, and just think about it in isolation: $1,900,000.00 per year for a basketball coach. This is just ludicrous and sickening. What a lowbrow bread and circus culture we’ve become (or always were?).

    Meanwhile in the ranks of the university where actual work of the mind is done, you know that trivial stuff like Medicine, Law, Architecture, Humanities…

    Med School Genetics Senior Scientist $65,300
    Med School Cell Biology Professor $174,000
    Architecture Professor $110,000
    Law School Professor $173,300
    BioMed Eng Professor $160,100
    Art Professor $ 81,600
    History Professor $ 92,000


    • Wanago Bob

      “Actual work of the mind”- you should have used yours before you hit send. Your own post makes clear why 1.9 million is a reasonable salary for Tony Bennett- he’s worth it.

      Why do different professor make different amounts- because that is what the market is. Teaching is teaching, right? Why do medical school profs make more money than History professors. It’s because if you pay a Doctor a History Profs wages the MD will not take the job. Tenure helps keep salary and turnover low among professors.
      Which of these Professors teach on a national stage with the entire community watching(maybe Sabato and he’s making a fine salary and living on the Lawn). Which Professors are judge so harshly on their performance of their charges as ACC basketball coach? Medical Profs that bring in big research dollars make in the $300k region (that’s just salary has nothing to do with private practice they might have as well). A good basketball/football/baseball brings in big money and they take huge risks from which they deserve a reward for the difficult to obtain success. Basketball coaches are fired in droves ever year.

      The other side of this big salary debate is what happens when the coaches don’t so well. If Coach London doesn’t perform well this season he will be fired. His lack of performance on the field is costing the University millions in lost ticket sales and post season revenue and there is a price to be paid for that lack of performance. If he gets fired he may never get a salary ever approaching what he makes now.

      Being a top revenue sport coach is a high wire act and the best can name their own price- Bennett could probably demanded to make as much as Va Tech new coach who is making 2.3 million and we would probably paid it. Bennett makes 1.9 million and he has earned it and I am happy to help pay for it with my season tickets and yearly VAF contribution.

      • PG Tipps

        Bob, with your own lack of acumen you missed the premise above, which was to discuss in isolation from market forces and look at the cultural significance of paying a basketball that much money when those that nurture the real core of the university get 1/10th the amount. I know it’s heady stuff…

        And speaking of hitting the send too quickly, you may want to revise this and put it in standard English: “Which Professors are judge so harshly on their performance of their charges as ACC basketball coach?”

        • Wanago Bob

          “Divorce the discussion from ticket/media revenues and market salary levels, and just think about it in isolation” this is what is so odd and pretentious about your initial rant. Why would this make any reasonable sense in a real world discussion of a $1.9 million salary. The market makes salaries and denying that is intellectually dishonest but morally superior in your world view. Let me know when you can get 10k people to come and watch a professor teach 15 times a year in person and another 15 on TV and then we can compare coaches and professors more equitably.

          The President of the University makes $680k in total compensation. Is she really worth that much compared to a classroom professor? I mean let’s divorce market salary and look what she contributes to the classroom experience shall we? Is she worth more than a lowly paid TA who helps train the engineers and doctors of the future?

          Academics and athletics have completely different pools of finance- The Budget for the University and Med center is over $2 billion dollars- athletics is over $60 million. Does the difference make a difference to you and show where the real priorities lie? A dollar spent to pay Bennett doesn’t take away from the History department budget. UVa doesn’t even use state money to finance it’s facilities like so many other states. Sports pays it’s own way and fans willing give their money to support this program. JPJ was built without tax dollars or academic funds and all scholarship athletes have their tuition paid for by VAF. VAF pays more to the university for scholarships than any other entity. Sports pays it way and helps bring in more applications and donation to help the University’s academic mission.

          Adjunct Professor = graduate assistants in sports. these are the same entry level jobs that people take to try and get to the next level.

          I see you also used the grammar nazi gambit to avoid the entire subject of how different professor make differing amounts because it inconvenient to your larger narrative.How come that salary disparity was divorced from your discussion?

          • PG Tipps

            Let’s drop the snarking OK? I only “grammar Nazi’d” because your opening line was an unnecessary personal attack. There’s no need to be snide in a thoughtful discussion.

            If you don’t want to discuss the philosophical question of relative societal worth vs salaries so be it. You did somewhat with the question of the President’s salary, and I completely agree with you there.

            As far as “that’s what the market creates,” that’s all known stuff. It wasn’t the topic I posed, and I’m not interested in debating that.

  • Jacks

    PG comparing Tony Bennett to a professors salary doesn’t make sense since TB isn’t listed as a top paid state employee. It looks as though his salary is paid entirely by the Athletic foundation. Looking at the top ten salaries at Virginia only one is a coach (Lazor) and he comes in at number 10. If it is all private money then what’s your problem with it?

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