The Charlotte 49ers have named University of Virginia associate head coach Ron Sanchez as the 11th head men’s basketball coach in UNC Charlotte history. Sanchez will be introduced at a press conference next week.
“I would like to thank Chancellor Dubois and Director of Athletics Mike Hill for this incredible opportunity,” Sanchez said. “I am honored and humbled that they have entrusted me with their men’s basketball program. I have waited a long time for the right fit, and I truly believe in the leadership of this department. 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.”
Sanchez was an integral part of two-time National Coach of the Year Tony Bennett’s staff for the last 12 years as they built Washington State and Virginia into national powers during their tenures.
“Ron Sanchez embodies everything we could possibly want in a head basketball coach,” said UNC Charlotte Director of Athletics Mike Hill. “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.”
For the last nine years, he has been a part of Bennett’s staff at nationally ranked Virginia including the past three seasons as associate head coach. During his time at Virginia, the Cavaliers have won 212 games, three ACC regular-season titles and two ACC Tournament titles while making six appearances in the NCAA Tournament and one NIT appearance. The Cavaliers have earned an NCAA number one seed, three times. Virginia has won 29 or more games in four of the last five years.
ESPN Insider has listed Sanchez among the top recruiters in the nation. CBSSports.com listed Sanchez as one of the top assistant coaches in the country who are likely to be head coaching stars. Yahoo Sports listed him first among assistant coaches expected to get head coaching attention, this offseason.
Before his time on the coaching staff at Virginia, Sanchez was an assistant coach at Washington State. Prior to becoming an assistant coach at Washington State, he spent three seasons as the program’s director of basketball operations from 2002-05. He also spent two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Indiana. While at Indiana, Sanchez earned a master’s degree in athletic administration/sports management.
Sanchez is a 1997 graduate of the State University of New York College at Oneonta where he starred on the basketball team. He earned State University of New York Athletic Conference Player of the Year and Eastern College Athletic Conference Championship Most Valuable Player honors in 1996.