Tony Bennett, the head coach University of Virginia basketball team is being hailed online after he turned down a pay raise after winning the 2019 national title for the school.
Bennett was offered a pay rise by the management on Monday, September 16, as he extended his contract by another year, but he asked that the money be used to pay his staff more.
“[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.”
Bennett and his wife Laurel also pledged $500,000 toward a career-development program started to assist 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’s new contract runs through the 2025-26 season. According to the USA Today coaching database, Bennett made $4.15 million last season.