Wade Benson is in his third season at the helm of the Auburn volleyball program and holds a 32-40 record in his two years with the Tigers.
In his second full season with Auburn, Benson led the squad to its best finish in a decade as the Tigers finished the 2009 schedule with a 16-15 record and went 8-12 in the Southeastern Conference. Auburn concluded the year second in the SEC West and tied for fifth overall in the league. The 16 overall wins and eight SEC victories were the most the team has had since 1999.
Benson pulled in the nation's No. 26 class, according to PrepVolleyball.com, in his first full recruiting class for the 2009. The nine-member class also ranked third in the Southeastern Conference. Among the class, outside hitter Sarah Bullock was named to the SEC All-Freshmen Team.
While Benson has only two years atop the Auburn program, the role of head coach is not new territory for the Marina del Rey, Calif., native as he came to the Plains after working for seven seasons as head coach at Eastern Washington University.
Under Benson's direction, EWU won three Big Sky Conference regular-season titles in 2002, 2003 and 2004, and a Big Sky Tournament title in 2001.
The 2001 title gave the Eagles a berth in the NCAA Tournament where EWU faced Pacific-10 member Oregon State. The Eagles pulled out a 3-2 win over the Beavers, advancing to the second round and a 3-1 loss to Hawaii. The second-round appearance marked the highest postseason advancement in the team's history. His 2002 team went 29-2 and made the USA Today/AVCA Division I Top 25 poll for the first time, making it as high as No. 15 in the nation.
Eastern Washington played in the Big Sky Conference championship match in each of Benson's seven seasons and finished with 20 or more wins in his last six seasons.
He tallied a 154-55 record during his tenure at EWU for a .737 winning percentage.
Prior to coming to Eastern, Benson was the head coach at Western Oregon where he put together a 42-7 record and finished third in the NAIA Championship.
Aside from his time as a head coach, Benson also has eight years of experience as an assistant. He served as an assistant for three years at Western Oregon under Judy Lovre and four years at Eastern Washington under Pamela Parks. Benson's teams at Eastern Washington also experienced success in the classroom and in attendance. Six of Benson's squads received Game Plan/AVCA Team Academic Award. In addition, Eastern averaged more than 1,000 fans per match all seven seasons and ranked in the top 30 nationally in attendance.
During the off-season, Benson served as the club director and head coach of the Spokane Splash Volleyball Club, while also working as camp director of the Northern Exposure Volleyball Camp in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
Benson, a 2006 graduate of Eastern Washington, and his wife, Jill, have a 7-year-old son, Brady Jaymz, and a 5-year-old daughter, Bailey Marie.
Benson's wife is the former Jill Haas, who was an All-American volleyball player at Sacramento State from 1994-96. A member of the Sacramento State Volleyball Hall of Fame, she holds school records in career kills (2,037), single-season kills (798), single-match kills (40) and single-match digs (42). She also ranks fifth all-time in career digs (1,576) and third in single-season digs (619).
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