January 26, 2014

St. Francis assistant named Westminster (Pa.) coach

More news about: Westminster (Pa.)
Westminster (Pa.) athletics photo

Westminster (Pa.) has named Scott Benzel as its new head coach. Benzel previously was the associate head coach and co-defensive coordinator at Division I FCS St. Francis for the past two seasons.

He replaces Jeff Hand, who stepped down after compiling a 34-55 record in nine seasons.

"I'm really excited for this opportunity," Benzel said.  "I'm looking forward to meeting all the players and getting involved with the off-season, with recruiting, and putting a staff together. I'm eager to hitting the ground running and getting the season started."

Prior to improving the Saint Francis defense from 120th in the FCS in total defense to 10th, Benzel spent nine seasons with Division I Robert Morris. In his first two seasons as co-defensive coordinator with Robert Morris, his unit led the conference in total defense twice. In 2010, Benzel helped guide the Colonials to a share of the regular-season conference championship and the league's inaugural bid to the FCS playoffs. During his time with Robert Morris, Benzel coached safety Robb Butler who went on to play in the National Football League.

Benzel spent the 2004 season with Wittenberg, where he served as the defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator.

"I am pleased that Scott has accepted our offer to be the next head football coach at Westminster," said Westminster athletic director Jim Dafler. "Scott has an understanding and appreciation of the athletic and academic traditions at Westminster and is highly regarded by football people in this region. He has a commitment to developing the men on his team both on and off the field, and he will bring to our football program new enthusiasm and energy, a positive attitude, and a passion for competition."

A 1997 graduate of Mercyhurst with a bachelor's degree in business administration, Benzel was a two-year starter at free safety for the Lakers. He was named the defensive most valuable player for the squad as a senior in 1996 and led the Lakers in interceptions and pass breakups in 1995 and 1996. He later earned his MBA in management from Robert Morris.

A native of Plum, Pa., Benzel was a two-year starter at Plum High School at both cornerback and wide receiver.

"There is a lot of support for the Titan football program and you can certainly tell they want to see the Titans get back to being the powerhouse they used to be," Benzel added. "I'm very optimistic and excited about the future."

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