Feb. 2, 2010
MADISON, Wis. - When you talk about the Bennett family, one word comes to mind--basketball. Well, and defense too! In her second year with the Badgers, Kathi Bennett is the daughter of former UW men's coach Dick Bennett and the sister of Tony Bennett, who is currently the head coach at Virginia.
Kathi has brought the "Bennett" defense to Wisconsin as the UW has been ranked as one of the top teams in the nation in scoring defense the last two years.
My parents are Dick and Anne. My brother Tony is married to Laurel and they have two children--Anna and Eli. I also have a sister Amy. She is married to Joe Stieber and they have four children--Andrew, Sara, Lucas and Owen. Amy is a great mom! I am the proud godmother to Andrew and Owen.
How would you describe your family?
We're competitive. No one in our family is handy. We can't fix anything!
What is your athletic background?
I played basketball, softball and volleyball at Stevens Point Area Senior High. In college, I played basketball at UW-Stevens Point and UW-Green Bay.
Did your parents or siblings play any sports?
My dad played football, basketball and baseball in high school and college, and was drafted professionally in baseball and football. My mom was a cheerleader and my sister played volleyball in high school. Tony played basketball at UW-Green Bay for our dad and professionally with the Charlotte Hornets.
How often are you able to see/keep in touch with your parents/siblings?
We talk every three or four days. Of course, I follow Tony's team very closely. It's pretty cool to have a brother coaching in the ACC. I'm so proud of him!
When did you decide that you wanted to be a coach?
I was stubborn and didn't coach right away because everyone told me that is what I should do! I went to grad school at UW-Milwaukee and while I was there, Carroll College lost an assistant coach midway though the season. I was flat broke and selling my plasma for gas money. My friends begged me to go for the job. I did and I fell in love with coaching!
How has your family been involved with your basketball career?
My family has been a big influence in basketball, obviously. I think I've seen it all!
What has been your favorite thing about the Badger basketball family?
The people that work at Wisconsin have a genuine desire to see you do really well. Everyone really pulls and cheers for you. I can really feel it! I also love Bucky!
How does your family support your career as a coach with the Badgers?
It's kind of nice to have one of the all-time greatest coaches ever to send tapes to as well as call and get advice from him!
What is your favorite family meal?
My mom's chicken broccoli and an ice cream sundae with her homemade hot fudge.
Where is your favorite family vacation?
Any NCAA tournament that my dad's or brother's team has been in.
Do you have any favorite family traditions?
Ice cream and basketball. We eat a lot of ice cream and watch a lot of basketball!