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Virginia’s Tony Bennett wins USBWA Coach of the Year award

Say you have a vote for the Coach of the Year award in college basketball. Would you pick the coach whose team is undefeated and in the Sweet 16 or the coach whose team went 30-4 and lost in the round of 32. You’d have to pick the undefeated coach who’s still standing, right?

Well, according to the majority of the US Basketball Writers Association members, wrong. The USBWA announced that Virginia’s Tony Bennett won the Henry Iba Award, which honors the best coach in college basketball each year. That’s right, over John Calipari. The guy with no losses who found a way to manage two teams worth of talent.

I can’t wait to hear the reasoning on this one.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

42 Comments for Virginia’s Tony Bennett wins USBWA Coach of the Year award

  1. Reese Davis
    2:07 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    Virginia will never win a championship playing their slow-paced, boring game scoring 55 a game.

  2. Katya
    2:09 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    Bennett and Calipari are really the only two coaches deserving of this award this year.

    • jeffj
      5:24 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

      you said “and” ?

  3. Catsby80
    2:14 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    sure he is deserving…. but he isn’t the most deserving. this is an abomination of the award. 36-0 but somehow he plays second fiddle to a guy who got bounced in the second round? come on, man….. what a joke.

  4. UKfaninLou
    2:16 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    Yeah and where will he be next weekend?

  5. madfish
    2:18 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    This award is nearly always going to go to the guy whose team “exceeded expectation”. That will never be Cal because we are expected to be in the final four every season. Sucks for Cal, but I’m not the least bit surprised.

    • ukjaybrat
      7:35 am March 24, 2015 Permalink

      then the name of the award should not be coach of the year but coach who exceeded expectations this year…. coach cal is on the verge of doing what no other coach has been able to do before him… “coach of the century”

  6. KevinM
    2:18 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    Simply put..the media is as biased as any other organization out there….what a crime but I bet Cal just laughs it off.

  7. wildcatdude
    2:19 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    The argument will be that Bennet did it the right way. No one and dones. No McDonald’s all Americans. In a “tougher’ conference. So he had a tougher job than cal did. I do not concur but those will be the arguments I believe.

    • Laker Cat 18
      3:03 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

      But he didn’t do “it.” He lost in the 2nd round. I’m not saying that the coach that wins the national championship should win coach of the year every year. However, a coach that goes 36-0 for the first time in NCAA history with a shot to go 40-0 should. That may not happen again in our lifetime. Coaches exceed expectations all the time. No one has done what Cal has done so far this season. Got a chance to throw a cherry on top at the end.

    • satcheluk
      12:52 pm March 24, 2015 Permalink

      Laker-This is voted before the tournament.

  8. Big Blue B-Rad
    2:21 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    The only silver lining here is that maybe this slight will give his players even more to play for.

  9. ReverendBlue
    2:38 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    I’m sure the justification is that Calipari has so many 5-star players on his team and that Virginia did what they did with less talent. However, isn’t part of coaching also recruiting? If the statistics are the justification for why less talented players from other teams make the All-SEC team over our guys, then shouldn’t the statistics (wins and losses) also justify Calipari being the best coach?

  10. JaredCarterIsMyHomeboy
    2:38 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink


  11. BTownUKFan
    2:40 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    Bennett failed his team. They had the talent to reach the final four. If he had any class he would decline the award.

    • BigBlueBoom
      3:08 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

      decline the award? Come on, dude. That has nothing to do with class. Who are you, Kanye? Did Beyonce deserve it?

  12. catsincebirth
    2:54 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    There is no real logic. If coaching awards aren’t allowed to be given to the coach of the team with the most talent, then John Wooden should never have received any awards.

    • ukjaybrat
      7:39 am March 24, 2015 Permalink

      exactly, eliminating all the best coaches because they get the best players and are “expected” to win is not fair to the truly great coaches who are deserving of the award and not some up and comer who got hot for a year or two. if they are eliminating coaches from contention, then they should say that up front… “coaches cal, k, izzo, etc are nto allowed to win this award because they have good teams all the time”… but even though that’s effectively what they are doing. they can’t come out and say that officially or else no one would take this award seriously… (not that they do anyway because, c’mon… bennet ? )

  13. dsims0004
    2:56 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    Wow. This is funny

  14. dsims0004
    2:56 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    Im going out on a limb here but i think Rick as done a better job that Tony….

  15. BluKudzu
    2:57 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    By Sampsonless Virginia standards, Bennett had a very special year. He finished first in the conference that has more teams in the sweet 16. (Um UK beat two of them).
    He took his team to the tournament. (So did several other coaches).
    This is more of a qualifier for COY than undefeated.
    Now we know.
    Didn’t Journalists also select butler as the man of the year?
    How did that turn out?
    Congrats to coach Bennett. I hope we hear from him again.
    Go Cal, Go Cats, Go BBN!
    Let’s fix this in Cleveland!!!!!!

    • BluKudzu
      5:28 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

      Spell check changed “hitler” to “butler”.

      A lot of coaches have great records against teams that made the tournament this year. No coach in the tournament has a winning record against UK this year. That argument is out as well.

      Conference record
      Conference tournament championship
      Season record
      NBA prospects
      Community support
      Development of players and coaches
      All time record for wins in season

      So what did Coach Bennett do that was equal or greater than
      Coach JC?

      Win in an opinion contest based on biased journalism.

      Journalistic integrity, in this group, is an oxymoron.

  16. sammydog
    3:03 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    Well, he is more handsome than Cal.

  17. blockK
    3:05 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    Coach of the Year is not synonymous with winning the championship. Otherwise – they’d just wait until that first Monday in April to hand out the award.

    It’s a subjective honor recognizing a job well-done that individual voters choose for individual reasons. Some put more stock in the overall success of the team. Some to obstacles or hurdles that had to be overcome. Some to the strength of schedule or conference affiliation.

    There are dozens of coaches did outstanding jobs this season, and probably an even dozen for whom a case could be made for this type of award.

    Certainly a case could be made for Calipari, but an equally compelling case could be made for Bennett, Bo Ryan, Coach K, Mike Bray and others. This is one of those issues where fans can sometimes do way too much whining if their guy isn’t picked.

    Remember – its based on opinion – and not everyone’s matches yours.

    • J-Dub421
      3:49 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

      Bob Knight won in 1976 when Indiana was undefeated, and Gregg Marshall of Wichita State when they were 36-0 at the time, same as us this year. This award should not be based on opinion, but on results. Coach Cal has the best results.

    • satcheluk
      12:56 pm March 24, 2015 Permalink

      Bob Knight did NOT win it in 1976. He won it the year before when they had 1 loss. In 1976 the Michigan coach won it and they had lost to IU 3 times.

  18. Sin The
    3:07 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    The only award Tony Bennet should get is an award for singning. I love the old time Crooners.

  19. TomTraubertsBlues
    3:08 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    President of the BWA – Dana O’Neill. Vice President – Pat Forde.

    Not a joke. Enough said.

    • CPACAT
      3:23 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

      OMG, You are NOT KIDDING! I looked it up, thinking this was some sarcastic comment. Yeah, couldn’t expect much more with those two haters at the top of their ticket.

    • Musehobo
      3:52 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

      We have our answer folks.

  20. secrick
    3:09 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    If it goes to who does more with less then give it to Izzo, made the sweet sixteen and just beat the coach of the year.

    • CPACAT
      3:19 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

      Izzo and Pitino (I threw up a little in my mouth just writing that) have done the most with the least. Agree with one point made earlier, with the rationale used by many, with all the talent Wooden had, he should have his awards retroactively rescinded.

  21. ClutchCargo
    3:11 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    I’d be more surprised if the media types actually gave Cal his due and voted him the winner of this award. Not too shocking when you consider some of the garbage that’s been written about Cal this year, and these are the writers of said garbage.

  22. ukbradstith
    3:15 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    Not sure, but I bet this doesn’t take the tourney into consideration. At least then you could make a case for Bennett.

    • ukjaybrat
      7:41 am March 24, 2015 Permalink

      it does not, they “voted” on it before the tournament started and announced the winner yesterday

  23. Dave Ball
    4:14 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    this is voted on BEFORE the tournament begins…so it does not take into consideration that UVA lost in the 2nd round (or 3rd round if you follow the confusing and idiotic NCAA’s round numbering system…the play-in-games are not a round…a round is when ALL teams in the tournament play an opponent…ooh that irritates me)…did Cal deserve the award?? yes…but the argument is that all one has to do is “roll the ball onto the floor” and anyone can win with that team…yes…but can “anyone” go undefeated, take All-Americans and make them share the ball and play defense?? No…Cal deserved the award this year, and anyone else winning the award shows favoritism and bias…the USBWA should be ashamed of themselves…

  24. King Kelly Coleman
    4:33 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    Isn’t the Naismith Coach of the Year the REAL award for COY?

    • ukjaybrat
      7:42 am March 24, 2015 Permalink

      naismith or AP…. yes, this is the joke award that no one [should] really cares about.

  25. mashburnfan1
    5:26 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    Cal could care less as this group is about the team not the individual, and who better to show this than the leader of the team.

    • ukjaybrat
      7:42 am March 24, 2015 Permalink

      Perfect sentiment, and i bet that will be his attitude toward it when asked about it tomorrow during media sessions

  26. BluKudzu
    5:43 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    This award was selected by people that need to sell articles and generate hits on their web pages. This award was not selected by the people who are dedicated to the coaching profession.

    There will be a difference.

  27. catdaddyd
    9:19 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

    Who cares. Let’s win the title and move on.