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Family Afffair: Bennett to hand job to son

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Whenever Dick Bennett steps down as head
coach at Washington State, his son Tony will replace him.
Athletic director Jim Sterk said Friday that he let the Bennetts
know over the summer that he intended to formalize the succession
plan, which has the support of school President V. Lane Rawlins.
Sterk also made clear that Dick Bennett, 62, can coach as long
as he wants.
"I'm like a pitcher in the bullpen, keeping my arm warm," said
Tony Bennett, 36. "When they call me, I'll be ready to go."
Dick Bennett has insisted on committing for only one season at a
time. He intends to coach in 2005-06, and then decide if he will
return, Sterk and Tony Bennett said.
Last year, Tony Bennett was promoted to associate head coach.
He's been given much of the responsibility for recruiting. It will
be easier to bring players to Pullman if they can be assured that
the coaching situation is stable, he said.
His contract will not change because of the announcement,
Bennett and Sterk said
Tony Bennett played for his father at Wisconsin-Green Bay, and
later played with Charlotte and Cleveland in the NBA before moving
into coaching.
At Oklahoma State, Sean Sutton is the designated heir to his
father Eddie, and at Texas Tech, associate basketball coach Pat
Knight and Tim Knight, the school's assistant athletic director for
men's basketball special projects, are the sons of Bob Knight.
Dick Bennett is entering his third season at Washington State.
Under him, the Cougars have ranked among the top defensive teams in
the nation and have won 14 Pacific-10 games in the two years, after
winning eight the previous three years.