Sources: Bobby Benson accepts offer to become next Providence men's lacrosse head coach
Updated: Jun 14, 2022
Maryland assistant coach Bobby Benson has accepted an offer to become the next men's lacrosse head coach at Providence, according to multiple sources. This will be Benson's first head coach gig.
Benson finished his second season in College Park with the Terrapins, the first as a permanent assistant with the program. This past year, Benson's offense led the country in goals per game (17.67), assists per game (11.33), points per game (29.00), shot percentage (39.1%), and scoring margin (8.67). Maryland was tied for 7th in man-up offense (48.0%) en route to an undefeated season and a national championship.
In Benson's first season with Maryland, his offense led the country in shot percentage (39.0%) points per game (25.69), and scoring margin (5.81). The Terps were 2nd in goals per game (15.94) and assists per game (9.75) in a season that involved a conference-only regular season slate prior to reaching the national championship game.
In both seasons, Maryland produced back-to-back Tewaaraton winners. Jared Bernhardt won in 2021, while Logan Wisnauskas won this past season.
Since taking over the program for the 2011 season, all of John Tillman's assistants that have departed have become head coaches elsewhere. Benson is the 5th such former assistant, joining Ryan Moran (UMBC), Kevin Warne (Georgetown), Kevin Conry (Michigan), and J.L. Reppert (Holy Cross).
Prior to his two-year stint with the Terrapins, Benson was an assistant at his alma mater, Johns Hopkins, from 2007 until 2020. After graduating from Hopkins in 2003, Benson was an offensive coordinator for UMBC in 2004 and 2005 as well as at Loyola in 2006, leading his teams to the top of the lists in man-up percentages.
Benson will take over a program that went 6-8 last year and 1-4 in Big East play under head coach Chris Gabrielli, who resigned back on May 4. The Friars went 10-7 in 2017, falling by one goal to Marquette in the Big East championship game. They most recently went 5-1 in a shortened 2020 campaign. Providence will return at least three of their top five scorers in Ryan Bell (43 points, including a team-high 34 assists), Michael Chabra (27 points), and Chris Cusolito (25 points). Senior Matt Grillo, who led the Friars with 36 goals and 45 points this past season, has one more year of eligibility left.
Benson's wife, Taylor, is a Providence alum and part of the School of Business' Business Advisory Council as part of their Executive Committee.
There are three Division I head coach vacancies left in NJIT, St. John's, and UMass Lowell. Late last week, Bryant announced that Mike Pressler was retiring only to see him become the head coach at Highland Park in Texas. Longtime assistant Casey Broderson was named as interim head coach. Broderson and Navy assistant Brad Ross, who was a finalist for the Providence opening, have been names I've heard.
St. John's appears to be the next domino to fall. Sources have told me that Michigan assistant Justin Turri is the likely favorite to become the next head coach.
NJIT 's list of candidates include Michigan assistant Jim Rogalski, LIU head coach Eric Wolf, Saint Joseph's assistant Scott Meehan, and Division II Mercy head coach Jordan Levine. UMass Lowell's list of candidates have been narrowed down and include Broderson, Wolf, and Manhattan head coach Drew Kelleher, who is also a finalist for the St. John's opening.
As for the Maryland assistant job vacated by Benson, names to consider include a pair of alums in Vermont assistant Jake Bernhardt and Stony Brook assistant Mike Chanenchuk. Also in the mix could be Princeton assistant Jim Mitchell.