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Ron Sanchez takes over as Charlotte 49ers basketball coach
Helped build Virginia into national power
Published Monday, March 19, 2018 8:05 pm
by Herbert L. White

Ron Sanchez’s new job is rebuilding Charlotte 49ers basketball.

Charlotte 49ers basketball coach Ron Sanchez.

Sanchez, associate head coach at Virginia, was named Charlotte’s head coach Monday. He is the 11th head coach in school history and will be introduced at a press conference next week.

“I have waited a long time for the right fit and I truly believe in the leadership of this department,” Sanchez said in a statement. “I cannot be more excited to get started. Obviously, I would not be here without the help of both Dick and Tony Bennett. I learned so much from them during my time at Washington State and Virginia. My wife and children are also very excited to be part of the 49ers family.”

Charlotte has struggled in recent years, falling to 6-23 in 2017-18. Mark Price, who was hired from the Charlotte Hornets, was fired by former athletics director Judy Rose nine games into the season and a 3-6 record. Houston Fancher oversaw the remainder of the campaign.

Sanchez was the top recruiter on Bennett’s staff at Washington State and Virginia over 12 seasons, helping both programs become conference powerhouses. As a result, Bennett is a two-time national coach of the year.

“Ron Sanchez embodies everything we could possibly want in a head basketball coach,” Charlotte athletics director Mike Hill said. “His reputation is impeccable as a teacher, leader, assessor and developer of talent, and recruiter. Most importantly, he is a man of high character and integrity. This is a great day for the Charlotte 49ers.”

Sanchez has been on Virginia’s staff for nine years, including the last three as associate head coach, where the Cavaliers won 212 games, three ACC regular-season championships and a pair of tournament titles. Virginia earned six postseason berths during that time, including this season, when the Cavaliers lost to No. 16 Maryland Baltimore County – the first top seed to do so. Virginia has earned top seed three times during Sanchez’s time as an assistant and won 29 or more games four of the last five years. The Cavaliers won a school-record 31 games in 2017-18 (31-3) and were ranked No. 1 in the national polls.

Sanchez was an assistant at Washington State, where the Cougars played in the NCAA tournament twice and tied the school wins record with 26. In 2008, the Cougars reached the Sweet 16. He also helped recruit future NBA All-Star Klay Thompson.

In addition to his work in the collegiate ranks, Sanchez was an assistant coach for the Dominican Republic national team in 2013, which finished fourth at the FIBA Americas Championship to qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Championships for the first time since 1978.


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