From Wazzo to Wahoo.
Washington State men's basketball coach Tony Bennett has accepted the head coaching job at University of Virgina. Bennett replaces Dave Leitao who resigned after four seasons. Bennett helped guide the Cougars to three straight NCAA tournament appearances. He took over for his father, Dick Bennett, and continued the resurgance of the men's basketball program in Pullman. The Cougs had been a non-factor in the PAC-10 for years until the father/son duo resurrected the program with defense, discipline and fundamental basketball. It is unclear if any of his assistants will be going with him.
Bennett took over Wazzu's team from his father Dick Bennett, who made it a condition of his hiring that Tony replace him when he stepped down. He posted a 68-30 record in three seasons with the Cougars. His first two teams made the NCAA tournament and this year's squad was eliminated in the first round of the NIT by St. Mary's.
Bennett was the AP college basketball coach of the year in 2007.
Portland State's Ken Bone, who guided the Pilots to the NCAA tournament this year, is already being considered a top contender for the job. Bone was an assistant for three years under Lorenzo Romar at UW. This would certainly add more fuel to the UW/WSU rivalry. WSU AD Jim Sterk was an associate AD at Seattle Pacific for a year while Bone was men's basketball coach there.