Poll names Virginia’s Jason Williford as ACC’s No. 1 assistant coach

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: UVA Media Relations

Anyone who reads about college basketball on the national scene knows that Jeff Goodman is an authority. In Goodman’s most recent piece for Stadium Basketball Insider, he rated the ACC’s top basketball assistants.

It will come as no surprise to Virginia fans that Cavaliers’ associate head coach Jason Williford was selected as the No. 1 assistant in the conference.

Goodman polled 20 coaches in each conference, mostly assistants, and asked them to name the top assistants in their respective leagues.

Here’s what Goodman wrote about Williford. If you’re interested in the rest, click on this link

“The Richmond native played for the Cavaliers in the early 1990s, then played overseas for a few years before getting into coaching. He started as an assistant at his alma mater, John Marshall High, and had a five-year stint at Boston University (under former UVA assistant Dennis Wolfe, one of his coaches in college), and a four-year stretch at American (under his former UVA head coach, Jeff Jones). He’s spent the last dozen years at Virginia where the program has achieved unparalleled success.”

This is what Tony Bennett told Goodman about Williford:

Photo: UVA Athletics

“Jason Williford is the complete package. He played the game at a high level and really thinks the game well as a coach with very good in-game instincts. He knows how to push players and still encourage them at the same time, too. He’s done a terrific job recruiting and then developing many of our top players at UVA over the years. Best of all, he’s as loyal and trustworthy of a coach as you’ll find. It’s only a matter of time before he goes from associate head coach to leading his own program.”

Bennett should know. His two former associate head coaches now run their own programs: Ritchie McKay at Liberty and Ron Sanchez at Charlotte.

Goodman also used a quote from an unnamed ACC assistant who sang the praises of Williford, who we all know as “J-Willy.”

“Great evaluator, terrific communicator and can really, really coach. He can do — and does it all. Tony Bennett obviously deserves a lot of credit for Virginia’s success, but Jason Williford has been a huge reason for it, also.”