Feb. 14, 2008
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Washington State University men's basketball program took home two awards Wednesday at the Inland Northwest Sportswriters and Broadcasters organization (SWABS) luncheon, honoring the Inland Northwest's finest athletes, teams and coaches from 2007.
As a team, the 2006-07 Cougars won the Team of the Year award, while first year head coach Tony Bennett was named the Coach of the Year. The team award was the 10th for WSU dating back to 1975 and the second for the WSU basketball program, which also won the award in 1980. Bennett became the seventh WSU head coach to be named Coach of the Year and just the second while at the helm of the men's basketball program. George Raveling was the only other Cougar basketball coach to earn the honor in both 1980 and 1983.
After being chosen to finish last in the Pacific-10 Conference prior to the season, the 2006-07 squad, led by first year head coach Bennett, surprised everyone, setting a school record with 26 wins, while its second-place Pac-10 finish tied for the best in school history.
For the team's success, Bennett earned numerous national and regional coach of the year awards, including the Pac-10 Coach of the Year and the Associated Press National Coach of the Year honors. In all Bennett received nine national coach of the year accolades and now five at the conference and regional levels.