Virgina men’s basketball staff gets raise; new deal also expected for Coach Tony Bennett


NEW YORK - MARCH 28: Virginia Cavaliers head coach Tony Bennett gestures to his team against the Michigan State Spartans during the East Region Semifinal game between Virginia and Michigan State at Madison Square Garden on March 28, 2014. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post) (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

On the heels of a historic 2013-14 campaign, the staff of Virginia men’s basketball Coach Tony Bennett has been rewarded with new contracts and more money, according to documents obtained Tuesday through an open records request.

Virginia assistant coaches Ritchie McKay, Jason Williford and Ron Sanchez will make nearly $785,000 combined for at least the next four seasons, or nearly $155,000 more than what the trio earned this past year.

McKay, whose initial five-year contract with the Cavaliers expired in April, signed a new five-year agreement worth $334,800 annually after making $300,000 the past five seasons. Williford and Sanchez inked four-year contracts that will pay them $225,000 per year — $60,000 more than what each were set to earn this coming season.

Director of basketball operations Brad Soucie also recently signed a new four-year contract that will bump his salary to $118,450 starting next season. All four staff members are due bonuses ranging from one to three months pay based on Virginia’s performance in the NCAA tournament.

The new contracts are also the latest indication that Bennett will soon have a new deal of his own.

Though Athletic Director Craig Littlepage, executive associate athletic director Jon Oliver and Bennett have all declined to publicly comment on the negotiations since Virginia’s season ended in the Sweet 16, two athletic department officials familiar with the situation indicated Bennett’s new deal is expected to be finalized and formally announced by the school in the coming weeks. Bennett signed a five-year extension when Virginia earned a berth in the 2012 NCAA tournament and his current contract runs through 2019.

Like his staff, Bennett will likely receive a substantial raise — he earned $1.7 million before incentives last year — after the Cavaliers won their first outright ACC regular season championship since 1981, captured their first ACC tournament title since 1976 and secured a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament for the first time in more than 30 years this past season.

Mark Giannotto covers Virginia and Virginia Tech for The Washington Post.
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