Virginia coach Tony Bennett scored his 327th career victory as the coach of the Cavaliers on Saturday, passing UVa coaching legend Terry Holland as the program's all-time winningest coach. Bennett led No. 11 Virginia past ACC foe Syracuse in a 73-66 home win to achieve the mark after failing to get over the hump earlier in the week in a loss to Pitt.
"I'm soaking wet and cold. It's the first time in my career I've ever had a gatorade or an ice bath dumped on me. So that was exciting," said Bennett. "I'm humbled. Coach Holland is a special man. I learned about this place because of the success he had with those great players. To be able to get that number is a reflection of all the good people I've been coaching for awhile."
Holland, who was 326-173 during his tenure at UVa, led the program to its first-ever Final Four appearance in 1981, then repeated the accomplishment in 1984. Bennett, who improved to 327-120 on Saturday, became the first coach since Holland to lead the school back to the Final Four, doing so in 2019 when the Cavaliers won the NCAA championship.
Bennett has had a wealth of positive influences on him as a coach, building what has likely developed into a résumé worthy of future Hall of Fame consideration that includes Holland and his father, Dick Bennett, who led Wisconsin to the Final Four in 2000 and amassed a 326-227 record at Wisconsin, Green Bay and Washington State.
The younger Bennett began his head coaching career where his father left off -- at Washington State -- and has been at UVa since 2009. He has led the program to eight NCAA Tournament appearances, five regular-season conference championships, two conference tournament titles and of course the 2019 crown. The win puts him 396-153 all-time as a head coach in 17 seasons.