Football's Bennett Named Sportexe Division I Football Championship National Coach of the Year


Football's Bennett Named Sportexe Division I Football Championship National Coach of the Year

ROUND ROCK, TEXAS – Coastal Carolina football coach David Bennett was named as Sportexe® inaugural NCAA Division I-AA Football Coach of the Year award for 2006. As one of the global leaders in the synthetic turf system industry, Sportexe thoroughly reviewed candidates nationwide to find coaches from high school, collegiate and professional levels that demonstrate the same quality, integrity and performance that has become synonymous with the Sportexe brand.

Only two other programs (Florida Atlantic and Georgia Southern) have ever reached the I-AA (now the Football Championship Subdivision) playoffs quicker than Bennett’s Coastal Carolina football team.

This year in just the fourth year of play, Bennett led Coastal to a 9-3 record, including a 4-0 mark in the Big South to earn its third consecutive Big South crown and the program's first-ever berth in the NCAA Division I Football Championships. CCU is the first Big South representative ever to earn an invitation, and only the second school from a non-automatic bid conference to earn a berth (Cal Poly - 2005) in the last 10 years.

Bennett has a 34-11 record during his four years with the Chants and has never had a losing season in his 11-year coaching career (97-27 overall). At Catawba, he led the Indians to three consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division II playoffs, including a run into the national semifinal round in 2001.

“This is a special recognition for our entire program,” said Bennett. “This senior class was here from the beginning when we had to practice at driving ranges, parking lots and tennis courts. This program has come a long way in a short period, but we are not stopping here.”


Dedicated to providing proven, technology-rich synthetic field systems worldwide, Sportexe, with headquarters in Fonthill, Ontario, has developed a reputation for unsurpassed quality - from start to finish. Since its incorporation in 1989, Sportexe has been perfecting the finest details that go into making better, safer, and higher performing athletic surfaces.


This dedication to quality has led Sportexe to where is today – underfoot of many of the most prestigious teams and sports facilities from around the globe. Sportexe clients include the Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers, LSU, University of Alabama, University of California at Berkeley, University of Southern Mississippi and De la Salle High School.


Nominees were compiled and winners selected by a select Sportexe panel consisting of company officials, regional sales representatives and marketing and public relations personnel.


“We are in the trenches working hand-in-hand with these guys every day,” said Sportexe CEO and President Mark Nicholls. “One would be hard-pressed to find people more in tune with the football-coaching industry than us. We keep a close eye on what’s going on and we are excited to be able to acknowledge just a few of the game’s many outstanding achievers.”


This year’s winners include:


  • NFL: Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints
  • NCAA Division I-A: Art Briles, University of Houston
  • NCAA Division I-AA: David Bennett, Coastal Carolina Univ. (Conway, S.C.)
  • NCAA Division II:  Billy O’Boyle, Chadron State College (Neb.)
  • NCAA Division III: Frank Miriello, Washington & Lee University (Va.)
  • NAIA: Dino Kaklis, Bethel College (Tenn.)
  • Junior College: Brad Franchione, Blinn College (Brenham, Texas)
  • High School: Bill Redell, Westlake Village Oaks Christian (Calif.)



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