Sanchez resigns at Charlotte; Returns to UVA as Associate Head Coach

Charlotte head basketball coach Ron Sanchez has resigned, and will return to the University of Virginia as the Associate head coach (Sanchez had been on Tony Bennett’s staff from 2009-18 before taking over at Charlotte). Here are the press releases from both schools:


The Charlotte 49ers announced today that Ron Sanchez is resigning his position as head men’s basketball coach. 

“Ron took over a proud but struggling program and carefully rebuilt it into a 22-game winner. He has led with class, dignity and devotion to our young men. His decision to step down from Charlotte was a difficult one for him and everyone associated with our program. We wish him and his family every happiness,” said Director of Athletics Mike Hill. “Our competitive goals are clear. We are driven to regularly contend for American Athletic Conference championships and return to the NCAA Tournament. We have commenced a national search for our next head coach and are excited about the future.”

Sanchez was named head coach on March 19, 2018. He inherited a team coming off a 6-23 campaign. During his five-year tenure, the Niners went 72-78, capped by 22 wins this past season – the most since 2001 – and the CBI Championship, the Niners’ first-ever post-season tournament title.

“This is a bittersweet day for me and my family as I step down to pursue other opportunities,” said Sanchez. “It has been a tremendous privilege to lead the 49ers basketball program over the past five years and I want to thank Niner Nation for its support. I will be forever grateful to my staff, players and the University. I can only hope that the impact we made on our student-athletes is as strong as the impact they have made on us.”


Former Virginia associate head coach Ron Sanchez is returning to the program in the same role, Dean and Markel Families Head Men’s Basketball Coach Tony Bennett announced Tuesday (June 6).

Sanchez served nine seasons on Bennett’s staff from 2009-18, the last three as associate head coach. During his time on Grounds, the Cavaliers 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 earned three No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament and won 29 or more games four times. The Cavaliers won 31 games and reached No. 1 in the AP rankings for the first time since 1982-83 during Sanchez’ last season at UVA in 2017-18.

Sanchez served as head coach at Charlotte the past five seasons. The 49ers won 16 or more games in three seasons, including a 22-14 record in 2022-23. This past season was highlighted by Charlotte’s first-ever postseason tournament title when the Niners won four games in five days in Daytona Beach, Fla., at the 2023 Discount Tire College Basketball Invitational.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ron and his family back to the University of Virginia,” Bennett said. “Ron played an integral part in building this program and was a pillar in the community. He is an outstanding recruiter and coach, and really connects with student-athletes. Ron’s last five years as a head coach enhances what he will bring back to our basketball program.”

Sanchez also served as an assistant coach on Bennett’s staff for three seasons at Washington State from 2006-09, helping the Cougars to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and one NIT berth. Washington State reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2007 and Sweet 16 in 2008. The Cougars tied the school record with 26 wins in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

“The University of Virginia is truly special to me and my family,” Sanchez said. “It is the only institution I would vacate my head coaching position for. I’m thankful for the opportunity to return to Grounds with a new-found lens and perspective.

“I’m also excited to reconnect with the staff and join their efforts in sustaining the incredible success this program has had over the last decade. I look forward to serving Coach Bennett, the staff, the student-athletes and our community.”