The United States Basketball Writers Association announced on Monday that Virginia coach Tony Bennett won the 2014-15 Henry Iba Award. The honor is annually handed out to the man college hoops scribes from across the country deem to have done the best coaching job.
Though second-seeded Virginia lost on Sunday in the Round of 32 to No. 7 Michigan State, the award is voted on at the end of the regular season by members of the USBWA.
The 45-year-old Bennett led Virginia to a 28-2 regular season record in the ACC, which currently has five teams in the Sweet 16, tying a record set by the Big East in 2009.
Ironically, Bennett’s Cavs are not in that group. They finished 30-4 after falling to Tom Izzo’s Spartans. Bennett’s career record at UVa is now 136-64. He previously won this award while at Washington State, in 2006-07. He’s the ninth coach to win it at least twice.
Bennett beat out the likes of Jay Wright, Bo Ryan and Ben Jacobson, but most notably, Kentucky’s John Calipari, who coached his team to an undefeated regular season.
The last remaining major award from the USBWA is the Oscar Robertson Trophy, which goes to the national player of the year. That will be announced the Friday before the Final Four, in Indianapolis, at Lucas Oil Stadium.