Robert Morris hires Eddie Benton as Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach

RMU women’s basketball head coach Chandler McCabe has announced the hiring of Eddie Benton as an assistant coach. A native of the Manchester neighborhood on Pittsburgh’s North Side, Benton brings over 25 years of Division I, Division III, high school and AAU coaching experience.
“Bringing Eddie on staff was a no brainer,” said McCabe. “He has college coaching experience at every level of Division I, is a Western PA guy through and through and a family man who cares first and foremost about our student-athletes. I am elated to welcome Eddie and his family to our program.”
Benton returns to the college ranks after leading Oakland Catholic for the last two seasons where he had an overall record of 52-8. In his first season, Benton led the Eagles 26-5 record, the WPIAL Class 5A Section III title and a berth in the WPIAL finals. Oakland Catholic advanced to the semifinals of the PIAA State Championship. For his efforts, he was named the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Class 5A Coach of the Year. This past season, Benton’s squad started the season 22-0, repeated as section champions and advanced to the WPIAL semifinals.
“I am excited about the opportunity to work with Coach McCabe and help her rebuild the Robert Morris women’s basketball program,” said Benton, “Being a native of Pittsburgh, I’m extremely passionate about bringing great talent and a championship mentality back to the Moon Township community.”
Prior to leading Oakland Catholic, Benton spent the 2021-22 season at Mississippi State as an assistant coach. In his year with the Bulldogs, he coached a pair of All-SEC players including Anastasia Hayes who was a finalist for the Gillom Trophy, which is awarded to the best basketball player in Mississippi.
During the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, Benton was an assistant coach at Brown. He coached two Ivy League All-Conference players, one being Shayna Mehta, who finished her career as Brown’s second all-time scorer and the Ivy’s 11th all-time scorer.
In the 2017-18 season, Benton was an assistant coach at Cincinnati. He helped guide the Bearcats to 19 victories – the most in 15 years. The Bearcats advanced to their first-ever berth in the American Athletic Conference tournament semifinals and earned a berth in the WNIT. Individually, he coached the AAC Freshman of the Year IImar’I Thomas.
Before Cincinnati, Benton was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Duquesne for three seasons. He helped guide the Dukes to 71 victories, the 2016 Atlantic 10 regular season title and the school’s first ever NCAA tournament appearance – also in 2016. Additionally, Duquesne earned bids to the WNIT in 2014 and 2015. He coached six Atlantic 10 All-Conference players a total of 12 times including the 2016 A-10 Player and WNCA Honorable Mention selection April Robinson.
Benton was an assistant coach at Saint Francis U for the 2012-13 season. He helped the Red Flash advance to the Northeast Conference championship game and earn its first-ever berth in the Women’s Basketball Invitational. Under his tutelage, Alli Williams was an All-NEC First Team selection.
From 2004-12 Benton was the head coach at LaRoche where he led the Lady Redhawks to back-to-back Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championships and NCAA Division III Tournament berths. In his eight years at the helm, Benton’s teams won 108 games. Benton was named the AMCC Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2012.
Before coaching on the women’s side, Benton served as a men’s assistant coach at RMU for three years under Mark Schmidt after spending two years as an assistant coach with the men’s program at La Roche.
In addition to coaching college in high school, Benton had coached with the Western Pennsylvania Bruins AAU program and owns BentForce Basketball, a training and consulting company with his wife Daynia La-Force.
As a player, Benton was a standout guard at Vermont. The Catamounts’ all-time leading scorer and 2006 UVM Hall of Fame inductee, Benton was the winner of the 1996 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award given to the nation’s top basketball player less than 6-feet tall and the Bob Cousy Award, which is given to the best senior in the region under 6-feet tall.
Benton’s 2,474 points is second all-time in the America East Conference, second only to the late Reggie Lewis of Northeastern. He graduated as the school’s career leader in 15 different offensive categories including scoring average – 23.8 points per game. Benton, who was 1996 team captain, had his number 10 retired by Vermont in 2000. He scored over 40 points in a game six times, including a school and conference record 54 points against Drexel his sophomore season. In that game, Benton made a school and conference record 21 foul shots. He also had a school record 42 consecutive free throws over the course of four games his freshman year. He finished with a school and conference record 739 free throws.
Benton was a First Team All-America East selection all four seasons and was the league’s 1993 Rookie of the Year. He was also selected as part of the America East 20th Anniversary All-Star Team. Benton was a three-time NABC District I First-Team All-Star (1994, 95, 96) and the 1993 NABC District I Rookie of the Year as well as a three-time ECAC All-Star (1993, 1994, 1996) and 1993 ECAC Rookie of the Year. Additionally, he was named USBWA All-District in 1993 and 1994.
After graduating with his degree in sociology, he played professionally in the CBA with the Grand Rapids Hoops. After the CBA, Benton continued his playing career overseas in Israel, Holland and Venezuela.
In high school, Benton was named to the 1992 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous Five team and was also All-City League performer. During his junior year, he led the Commodores to the 1991 PIAA Championship. During his senior year, Benton was selected to the Dapper Dan Roundball Classic where he won the three-point shootout.
Benton has four children – daughter Ny’Asia Benton is a freshman on RMU’s track and field team, son Eddie Benton, III is a junior three-sport athlete at Bishop Canevin High School, son Terance Mann plays for Los Angeles Clippers and Martin Mann, who played college basketball at Pace and Dickinson. His wife Daynia, who he married in 2019, has been head coach at New Haven, Northeastern and Rhode Island and an assistant coach with WNBA’s Atlanta Dream.

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