Virginia coach Bennett rejects raise in new deal

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Bennett, Virginia were inspired by Clemson football's title (1:05)

Tony Bennett calls Virginia's NCAA tournament run one of the greatest stories ever written. (1:05)

Virginia men's basketball coach Tony Bennett declined to take a raise while extending his contract by another year.

The Cavaliers announced the extension Monday, saying Bennett asked for the money to be used to pay his staff more and for improvements to both his program as well as other Virginia athletic teams.

"[My wife] Laurel and I are in a great spot, and in the past I've had increases in my contract," Bennett said in the news release. "We just feel a great peace about where we're at, all that's taken place, and how we feel about this athletic department and this community and this school. I love being at UVA.

"... I have more than enough, and if there are ways that this can help out the athletic department, the other programs and coaches, by not tying up so much [in men's basketball], that's my desire."

Following negotiations with athletic director Carla Williams, Bennett's deal now runs through the 2025-26 season. According to the USA Today coaching database, Bennett made $4.15 million last season, which included a $1 million longevity payment due to him in March.

"Tony's decision -- to turn down a well-deserved raise and instead invest in his players and UVA athletics more broadly -- tells you everything you need to know about him as a leader and as a human being," university president Jim Ryan said. "Tony is one of the most selfless people I've ever met, and this is just the latest example."

Virginia is coming off its first national title last season. Bennett has coached the Cavaliers since 2009-10, reaching the NCAA tournament seven times, including each of the past six seasons.