April 4, 2003
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State University Head Men's Basketball Coach Dick Bennett announced the hiring of his son, Tony Bennett, as an assistant coach for the Cougars, Friday. The younger Bennett is the first assistant to join the Cougars' staff since the hiring of Dick Bennett last Saturday.
"Tony is excellent at what he does," Dick Bennett said. "He loves to recruit and work with the young men. It's also exciting to be working with him again because he is my son."
Bennett, 33, brings with him the experience of a former NBA player. He was the 35th selection of the 1992 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets and played with the team until 1995. Bennett's NBA career was cut short by a foot injury.
Bennett has been an assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin for the past three seasons. Prior to his stint in Madison, he spent time as both a player and head coach for the North Harbor Kings, a professional team in New Zealand, from 1996-99.
At Wisconsin, Bennett was responsible for recruiting, summer camps and player development. He helped the Badgers win consecutive Big Ten championships (2002-03) and advance to the NCAA Tournament each of the last three seasons, including a trip to the Sweet Sixteen in 2003.
Bennett played college ball at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where his father was the head coach. He finished his college career as the Mid-Continent Conference's all-time leader in points (2,285) and assists (601) and is still the NCAA's all-time leader in three-point field goal percentage (.497). UWGB was 87-34 (.719) during his career and made one appearance in the NCAA Tournament and two in the NIT. He is the only player to have his number retired by the Phoenix.
The Cougars' newest coach was named MCC Player of the Year in both 1991 and 1992. He won the 1992 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award given to the nation's most outstanding senior under six-feet tall. He was also chosen as the 1992 GTE Academic All-American of the Year. Bennett was a starter on the 1991 Pan-American Games team, for coach Gene Keady of Purdue, winning the bronze medal.
He was named Mr. Basketball in the state of Wisconsin in 1988, following his senior season at Green Bay's Preble (Preh-BULL) High.
Bennett graduated from UWGB in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in humanities.
His family includes his wife Laurel, and children Anna, 2, and Eli, who will be 1, May 13.