Bender Resigns as UW Men's Basketball Coach
March 20, 2002
SEATTLE - Bob Bender has resigned from his position as head basketball coach after nine years at the University of Washington, Director of Athletics Barbara Hedges announced Wednesday.
Bender stepped down after completing his ninth season with an 11-18 record that culminated with an 86-64 loss to Oregon in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament. The Huskies placed eighth in the Pacific-10 Conference with a 5-13 record. Bender had three years remaining on his contract.
Washington's 17th head coach, Bender posted a 116-142 (.450) overall record between 1994 and 2002. His 116 victories are the fourth-highest total in Husky history, trailing only Hec Edmundson (488), Marv Harshman (246) and Tippy Dye (156).
Bender's nine-year tenure matched Dye (1951-59) as the third longest in school history. Only Edmundson (1921-47) with 27 years and Harshman (1972-85) with 14 years had coached the Huskies longer. Bender was third in seniority among Pac-10 coaches at the time of his departure, behind only Arizona's Lute Olson (19 years) and Stanford's Mike Montgomery (16 years).
After struggling through losing seasons of 5-22 in 1994 and 10-17 in 1995 in his first two years, the Huskies registered four straight winning records between 1996-99. Bender became the first UW coach to produce four consecutive postseason appearances, beginning with National Invitation Tournament berths in 1996 and 1997.
Bender's finest season was 1998 when the Huskies recorded a 20-10 record, received their first NCAA Tournament berth since 1986 and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1984. Washington also earned an NCAA bid in 1999, finishing with a 17-12 record. Those four winning seasons were followed by back-to-back 10-20 campaigns in 2000 and 2001 and the 2002 season's 11-18 record.
Bender has a 13-year career record of 176-199 (.469), including a four-year mark of 60-57 in his first head coaching job at Illinois State from 1990-93. Prior to becoming a head coach, Bender served six seasons from 1983-89 on Mike Krzyzewski's Duke staff.
A national search for his replacement will begin immediately.
Bob Bender's Washington Coaching Ledger
Year W-L Pct. Pac-10 (Place) Postseason
1994 5-22 .185 3-15 (9th)
1995 10-17 .370 6-12 (7th, tied)
1996 16-12 .571 9-9 (5th, tied) NIT
1997 17-11 .607 10-8 (6th) NIT
1998 20-10 .667 11-7 (4th) NCAA Sweet 16
1999 17-12 .586 10-8 (4th) NCAA Tournament
2000 10-20 .333 5-13 (8th, tied)
2001 10-20 .333 4-14 (9th, tied)
2002 11-18 .379 5-13 (8th) Pac-10 Tournament
Totals 116-142 .450 63-99 (.389)