Soaring like a Phoenix: Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett leads his Cavaliers to a National Championship

Tony Bennett, Feb. 6, 1990

Tony Bennett, Feb. 6, 1990

Updated Tuesday, April 9, 2019

UW-Green Bay and all of Wisconsin celebrated with Tony Bennett and the Virginia Caveliers (Go Hoos!) on April 8, 2019, when they took down Texas Tech for the 2019 NCAA Championship. Bennett grew up in Green Bay, played for Green Bay Preble High School before playing for his father, legendary coach Dick Bennett at UW-Green Bay. The duo led the Phoenix to its first NCAA Tournament.

The “Hoos” championship run in the NCAA Tournament brought back a ton of memories for Phoenix fans, recalling when the former Hall-of-Famer, and his father, Head Coach Dick Bennett, led the Phoenix to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in March of 1991. A photo gallery by UW-Green Bay’s Archives and Area Research Center from that pivotal moment in the history of UW-Green Bay athletics, brought hundreds of thousands of views and hundreds of “shares.”

Here are a few fun shares:

“I was there! During the lead up to this game, Coach Bennett would continually keep the players late at practice each night, and they would sprint to the Nicolet Room (cafeteria) just as I was closing the gate each night. (Alum ’91 – Student Manager Nicolet Room).”

“A family of such class, skill & dedication, we were lucky to have them at UWGB, proud to cheer on Tony & the Cavs this weekend.”

“I was attending UWGB at the time of this game – it’s one of my all-time favorite moments.”

“Wonderful memory!! As a Dec 92 grad, I shared one class with Tony… back in the day, the BC arena became the ‘Dick Dome’ for the all-star coach. Lots of fun!!”

As the Cavs, or the Hoos, as the Virigina fans call themselves, played for a national championship, the Phoenix nation joined in on the frenzy for its Hall-of-Fame alum.

In the high-pressure career of coaching, in the brightest spotlight of NCAA sports, Tony Bennett has demonstrated just what it means to soar like a Phoenix.

For a post-game reaction from Bennett, see the USA Today story.

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