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Rich BensonAssistant Coach
College: University of Kentucky '90
Start Date: 8/12/13
Head men's tennis coach Chris Johnson announced the addition of Rich Benson to his staff as an assistant coach on August 12, 2013. Benson comes to Liberty after spending the past two years on staff with Athletes in Action (AIA), working with their tennis ministry.
"Liberty men's tennis is very blessed to have Coach Benson joining our coaching staff," Johnson stated. "He has a strong commitment to the Lord and to seeing our players grow on and off the court. I am very humbled as I watch how God continues to build our program."
Prior to his AIA experience, Benson was a volunteer assistant for the 25th-ranked Louisville men's tennis squad. "Coach Rich Benson brought a great blend of skills to our program", commented Louisville men's tennis head coach Rex Ecarma. "He was an All-American and former ATP Doubles player and brought that experience, as well as his management skills from his previous job, to his position with us at Louisville. Lastly, he brought a sense of compassion and thoughtfulness regarding the players. He cared as much for their soul as he did for their performance level."
During his collegiate playing career, Benson was a three-time All-American tennis player at Kentucky. Benson played No. 1 singles and doubles during his sophomore year and was also an NCAA doubles semi-finalist with then partner Greg Vanemburgh. Also during his sophomore year, he was an NCAA singles clay court semi-finalist. During his junior year, Benson was the SEC champion in No. 1 doubles and No. 3 singles. Benson was a member of the U.S. World University Games Tennis Team that competed in Zagreb, Croatia in 1988.
On the ATP Pro Circuit Benson reached a world ranking of 525 in singles and 132 in doubles. Benson won the ATP Wolfsburg Challenger doubles event in 1994 with then partner Adam Malik. Benson traveled extensively throughout the world during his pro career playing in at least 8 ATP Grand Prix doubles events. Benson is a member of the Kentucky State Tennis Hall of Fame, as well as a member of the University of Kentucky Tennis Hall of Fame.
"It's refreshing to see Liberty University's commitment to make a difference in the world for Christ through the lives of their students and student-athletes," stated Benson. My wife and I are excited about joining the Liberty family in their mission to ‘Build Champions for Christ.' I'm eager to get started and join Coach Johnson as he continues to build a great tennis program here at Liberty University."
Rich has been married to his wife Paula for 15 years. They have three young children, Allison (10), Timothy (8) and Daniel (5).