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Benton comes full circle at BG

September 25, 2007 - Neil Rudel

Bishop Guilfoyle ought to count its blessings that it has Dave Benton around.

Benton was told during the 2000 high school basketball season that his services -- after 14 mostly-successful years with the Marauders -- were no longer needed, effective at season's end. 

Unless a high school coach commits a crime or an inappropriate act -- Benton did neither -- he should be given the courtesy of completing a season before his job is opened.

It's different in professional and even college sports where such lead time sometimes helps a coach get his next job. High school sports are and should be different.

During his BG tenure, Benton compiled a 204-187 record against mostly Class AAAA and AAA competition and won five District 6 championships (1987, 1991 and 1992 in Class AA and 1993 and 1997 in Class A). His teams always played hard, and he represented his alma mater with class, but those in power in 2000 felt a change was needed.

What BG got was instability.

Since pushing Benton out, BG has been coached by Terry Sullivan, who wound up in jail, Tom McConnell, who took the team for two years before returning to college basketball, and Josh Baker, who suddenly has requested an indefinite leave of absence.

Fortunately for the Marauders, Benton returned to the team as an assistant under Baker last year and is now willing to fill the void, temporarily or not.

Guilfoyle is lucky that Benton bleeds purple.


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