SoCalHoops Recruiting News
Randy Bennett Named Head
Coach At St. Mary's College--(Apr. 10, 2001)
It's official: Randy Bennett, currently an assistant for Lorenzo Romar at St. Louis, and formerly also an assistant with Romar at Pepperdine has been named the new head coach at St. Mary's, beating out several other excellent candidates for the job. Bennett takes over a team which only managed to win 2 games all year, finishing 2-27, but they return some interesting name players like Chris Schlatter (6'-6" Fr. F), Paul Marigney (6'-3" Fr. G), Tyler Herr (6'-5" So. G), Jovan Harris (6'-3" So. G), among others. It's a young team with only three seniors last year and four juniors, so it looks like Bennett will have his work cut out for him with recruiting during the next month. Here's the official press release from St. Mary's announcing the hiring of Bennett.
Saint Mary's Names Randy Bennett New Head Men's Basketball Coach
Moraga, CA - Saint Mary's College of California Director of Athletics Carl R. Clapp announced today at a 3:00 p.m. press conference that Saint Louis University top-assistant Randy Bennett will become the Gaels new men's basketball coach.
"This was a very competitive search and we had a number of very qualified candidates," stated Clapp. "Randy proved to be the best candidate, he is highly respected within the college coaching arena for his work ethic, professionalism and integrity. Along with a great knowledge of the game, Randy's considered one of the top recruiters on the West Coast. Randy will be a great addition to Saint Mary's College."
Bennett has extensive coaching experience in the West Region and specifically in the West Coast Conference. Fourteen of his 16 years as an assistant coach have been spent in the West Region, including 12 years at WCC schools Pepperdine and San Diego, and two years at the University of Idaho. During his career, Bennett has coached under such renowned head coaches as current Saint Louis head coach Lorenzo Romar, Chicago Bulls' head coach Tim Floyd (at Idaho), current San Diego head coach Brad Holland, and former San Diego head coach Hank Egan.
"There is no one more excited or happier than I am today," commented Bennett. "I have decided to lead this basketball program at a very exciting time for Saint Mary's Athletics and it's a great time to come on board. The people at Saint Mary's made the decision easy for me. The West Coast Conference excites me and I look forward bringing Saint Mary's back to the top of the WCC."
As a results of his considerable time spent in the WCC, Bennett also has excellent connections and experience in recruiting talent from the West Coast. This is evident by the 1997 Top-20 nationally ranked class that he and Romar recruited to Pepperdine, including such talented players as Brandon Armstrong and Kelvin Gibbs, both First Team All-WCC in 2001.
Bennett will assume the head coaching position at Saint Mary's following a two-year stint as the top-assistant men's basketball coach at Saint Louis University under Romar. In their first season, following a sub .500 campaign, the Billikens finished up the 1999-2000 season by winning the Conference USA Tournament with a win over #1 seeded Cincinatti and a berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Prior to Saint Louis, Bennett worked with Romar at Pepperdine for three years, during which time they accumulated a record of 42-44 (.488), including an 11-win turn-around following their first season with the Waves. Pepperdine finished second in 1998 and 1999 and moved onto the the NIT following a 19-12 finish to the 1998-99 regular season.
At San Diego, Bennett helped guide the Toreros to a 122-102 overall record under head coaches Hank Egan and Brad Holland. From 1986-88 Bennett served as an assistant coach at Idaho, where he helped coach the Vandals to a 35-25 overall record under current Chicago Bulls head coach Tim Floyd. The Vandals finished the 1988 season 19-11 and placed second in the Big Sky Conference.
What the Coaches are Saying About Bennett...
Head Coach Saint Louis University
"Randy Bennett is definitely someone we need as a head coach in the college game today. His work ethic, passion for what he does and his integrity will help move Saint Mary's basketball in the right direction. His experience in the West Coast Conference will be very beneficial to the program."
Head Coach University of Utah
"Randy Bennett is the personification of the college coaches profession. He is dedicated to the game and devoted to his players and their academic success. His commitment on the court is only exceeded by his commitment to the player's effort in the classroom. Randy is a terrific teacher of the game and his players are fundamentally sound and improve each year. He is a player's coach and basketball is his passion in life. "
Head Coach Chicago Bulls
"Given his background under Hank Egan and Lorenzo Romar, Randy will be a terrific head coach. He's a student of the game and will energize the basketball community with his personality, sincerity, honesty and his passion for the game. I have no doubt that he will be a star in this business. Saint Mary's made a great hire in Randy Bennett."
Head Coach UCLA
"Randy is one of the rising stars in the college coaching profession. He's established a reputation as a tireless recruiter, a solid teacher and a person with great integrity. After a number of years of loyalty helping other head coaches build programs, its nice to see Randy get an opportunity to build a program of his own. With is history on the West Coast, Randy possesses the knowledge to make an impact at Saint Mary's immediately."
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