Cal State University Maritime Academy’s Department of Physical Education and Athletics has named Denise Bennett as its new Women’s Head Basketball Coach. Bennett brings 15 years of experience as a basketball coach as well as expertise in training, development, leadership, and administration to her new role.
“I want to thank the Director of Athletics and Physical Education, Karen Yoder, for this tremendous opportunity,” said Bennett. “I am thrilled to be a part of the University community and am looking forward to making a big impact.”
Bennett comes from the University of Redlands where she was the first full-time Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach for the past two seasons. The Bulldogs won the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship last season amassing a 22-7 record and making it to the second round of the NCAA National Tournament.
Her duties as Assistant Coach at Redlands University included recruiting student-athletes, organizing community service activities, ensuring compliance with NCAA guidelines, budgeting, setting up study halls, practice plans, individual player meetings, and scouting reports. Prior to her position at the University of Redlands, Bennett also served as the Women’s Assistant Coach at San Diego Christian College for two seasons.
Bennett was the head coach of Torrey Pines High School Girls’ Basketball team in San Diego from 2013-2016. Her teams were very successful during her tenure, winning two Palomar League Championships, posting an undefeated conference season in 2014, and making the California State Playoffs all three years.
In 2016, she was unanimously selected to be the Head Coach of the North vs. South Senior All-Star Game. Her experience with the All-Stars dates to 2004 when she began coaching the San Diego Sol AAU travel team.
“Cal Maritime offers a quality educational experience that leads cadets to successful careers,” said Bennett. “I am excited about the opportunity to develop players on and off the court and to dive into this conference and build a competitive team and culture.”
She becomes the 5th head coach for the Keelhaulers in the last 10 seasons taking over for former Head Coach Dennis Cox.
Bennett received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at San Diego State University. Her collegiate playing experience began at Cuyamaca College, where she boasted First-Team All-League honors and was voted by her peers as the team’s Defensive Player of the Year. After transferring to Grossmont College, she repeated as an All-League selection with the Griffins. She graduated from Santana High School, where she helped her squad to a pair of CIF championships and two league titles.