ATLANTA (AP) - After leading Washington State to its best season
in 60 years, Tony Bennett has been selected The Associated Press'
college basketball coach of the year.
Bennett received 40 votes from the 72-member national media
panel that selects the weekly Top 25. Thad Matta (MAH'-tuh) of Ohio
State and Billy Gillispie of Texas A-and-M each received ten votes,
while Bo Ryan of Wisconsin got seven.
Bennett is the first Washington State coach to win the award,
which was first presented in 1967.
The 37-year-old Bennett, who succeeded his father, Dick, this
season at Washington State, is the second coach to win the award
after his first season as a head coach, joining Bill Hodges of
Indiana State in 1979.
The Cougars, who were picked ninth in the Pac-Ten preseason
poll, finished 26-and-8, were second to U-C-L-A in the conference
and lost in the second round of the N-C-A-A tournament. It was
their first tourney appearance since 1994 and the fifth in school