Ron Sanchez returns to UVA as associate head coach

Published: Oct. 19, 2023 at 3:54 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - UVA Basketball Coach Tony Bennett will have a familiar face back on his staff this season.

Ron Sanchez returns to UVA, joining Jason Williford, as one of Bennett’s associate head coaches.

“Choosing to come back to Virginia was such and simple decision. This is such a special place,” Sanchez said. “This is family to me, my kids grew up with Jason Williford and Tony Bennett.”

“He knows exactly what UVA is. He knows how to recruit to it,” Williford said. “He brings relationship building. He’s very hands-on with our players.”

He was previously with the Cavaliers for nine seasons, from 2009-2018. He has been the head coach at Charlotte for the last five years, leading the 49ers to 22 wins last season - the most in 20 years for that program.

“I was very happy at Charlotte. Being a head coach was a dream of mine, it was the only reason I did this for as long as I did. I wanted a chance to lead my own program. Learned a lot in the last five years, grew a lot. I thought I was a good assistant, once I became a head coach, I realize what a bad assistant I was. There was so many things I didn’t know, and now that’s become clear and I’m hoping to be twice as effective to help this University compete a a really high level,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez and all of the Cavaliers’ coaches now have to get players to come together this season: Ten of the 15 weren’t on Virginia’s active roster last reason.

“I like that they play hard, it’s a team that has a genuine motor. We’re not coaching effort, we’re coaching execution. At the beginning, it may be a little hard, but as they have some shared experiences they’ll continue to improve. It’ll be a different team mid-year than at the beginning of the season,” Sanchez said.

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