Virginia’s Tony Bennett and Clemson’s Brad Brownell sign long term contracts. I like one of these deals.


Today Virginia’s Tony Bennett’s signed a new 7-year deal to continue to coach the Cavalier basketball team.  A couple of weeks ago Clemson inked a 6 year deal with their head basketball coach Brad Brownell.  Let me be clear about one thing. I think both of these guys are rock solid head coaches. When it comes to game preparation and X’s and O’s, these are are two of the better young coaches in the ACC. That said one of these deals I like and one I don’t

Tony Bennett a rising coaching star. That is a fact. He won at Washington St. and he’s completely rebuilt the Virginia basketball program. They were the ACC’s best team this year, and were a legitimate 1 seed. This was team I felt at the end of the year was a top 5 team. Virginia has went from 15 to 16 to 22  to 23 to 30 wins this year. It was smart of Virginia to lock him up. I’m convinced Bennett’s name would and could still come up for NBA jobs or other name basketball programs in the future.

With Brad Brownell, it’s tough for me to be too critical of him, because as I said he is a good coach. I discussed this previously on the ACC Weekly Podcast with my podcast partner @HokieSmash The problem is Clemson has locked him into a deal with a hefty buyout. For the many good things Brownell has done, he hasn’t taken Clemson to the NCAA tournament in 3 years. His first team at Clemson made it largely with Oliver Purnell’s players. We don’t yet know yet if Brownell can recruit at the level necessary to compete it in what will be the country’s best basketball conference.

If I were Clemson, I’d have went with a 3 or 4 deal and smaller buyout. Yes you want to reward Brownell for what was a strong season at Clemson this past year, but I’m not sure it was worth a 6 year deal.

I guess we’ll see in a few years if one or both of the deals pans out, but at the moment I really like locking in Bennett. With Brownell I’m not sure it was the right move.

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