Virginia's Tony Bennett Declines Raise in New Deal to Donate Money to Program, Staff

Bennett extended his contract with Virginia but asked that the extra money he was offered be donated to the program.
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Virginia coach Tony Bennett turned down a raise while extending his contract by another year, the university announced on Monday.

According to the release, Bennett, coming off of a 2019 national title win, declined to receive more money on a new deal that now runs through the 2025-26 season. Bennett instead asked that the money be used to pay his staff more and for improvements to both his program as well as other Virginia teams.

"[My wife] Laurel and I are in a great spot, and in the past, I've had increases in my contract," Bennett said in the news release. "We just feel a great peace about where we're at, all that's taken place, and how we feel about this athletic department and this community and this school. I love being at UVA... I have more than enough, and if there are ways that this can help out the athletic department, the other programs and coaches, by not tying up so much [in men's basketball], that's my desire."

Bennetts and his wife have also pledged $500,000 toward a career-development program that's been launched for current and former UVA men's basketball players.

"Tony's decision—to turn down a well-deserved raise and instead invest in his players and UVA athletics more broadly—tells you everything you need to know about him as a leader and as a human being," university president Jim Ryan said. "Tony is one of the most selfless people I've ever met, and this is just the latest example."

Bennett has coached the Cavaliers since 2009-10. He joined the Hoos after recording a 69–33 record over three seasons at Washington State. He has reached the NCAA tournament seven times with Virginia, including each of the past six seasons, and has accumulated a 254–89 overall record.