The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

Bennett nets hefty bonuses

The University lists Tony Bennett’s yearly salary at $300,000, but there is little reason to fear the Virginia men’s basketball coach will skip town for a higher-paying job.

When Bennett was introduced as the Virginia men’s basketball coach March 31, 2009, he signed a five-year deal for $1.7 million per year — a deal that was extended another five years through the 2019 season after he took the Cavaliers to the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The University directly pays $300,000 of his salary, and he receives the remaining $1.4 million of his total compensation through indirect sources.

Following his initial $500,000 signing bonus in 2009, Bennett earned another $500,000 bonus for coaching five seasons. In comparison, Virginia football coach Mike London is due a $750,000 longevity bonus Jan. 15, 2015, provided he is still the team’s coach.

Together with his various bonuses for the team’s performance this season, 2014 has been a very lucrative year for Bennett.

Bennett earned a $50,000 bonus for being named the ACC Coach of the Year — twice the sum London received when he was tabbed the 2011 ACC Coach of the Year. He also raked in $100,000 for leading the team to its first ACC Tournament title since 1976, and $75,000 for a top-10 finish in the national polls.

And while the Cavaliers’ Sweet 16 appearance netted Bennett $100,000, the team’s 61-59 exit against Michigan State left significantly more money on the table. Bennett could have earned a total of $1 million throughout the Tournament — $250,000 for each additional win at Madison Square Garden and $400,000 for a national title. According to Forbes, Bennett’s championship bonus was the single biggest potential bonus of any Sweet 16 coach of a public school.

All told, Bennett landed a $2.5 million windfall in combined salary and bonuses after the conclusion 2013-14 season.

However, the Washington Post reported April 1 that Bennett is in the process of renegotiating his contract, though Virginia Athletics Director Craig Littlepage would not confirm whether he was currently negotiating another extension with Bennett.

With Virginia Tech’s recent signing of former Marquette coach Buzz Williams, Bennett could land a deal in excess of Williams’ seven-year, $18.2 million contract. Williams is set to make $2.3 million during his first season in Blacksburg — about 35 percent more than Bennett currently — a number that will increase by $100,000 yearly through the life of the deal.