Wade Benson
Wade Benson
College: Oregon
Position: Head Coach
Experience: 7th Season
Wade Benson begins his seventh season as head coach of the Eastern Washington University volleyball program after six extremely successful seasons. Under Benson's direction, the Eagles have won the Big Sky Conference regular season title three times, as well as the Big Sky Tournament title in 2001. The championship in 2001 gave Eastern a coveted NCAA Tournament berth, and the school's fi rst-round victory over Oregon State equaled the highest advancement in league history. Eastern has played in the Big Sky Conference championship match in each of Benson's six seasons at the helm. Benson is now an amazing 134-46 in those six seasons for a .744 winning percentage. Including a 43-7 record as head coach at Western Oregon in 1995, Benson is 177-53 for a Big Sky Conference record .770 winning percentage. Benson has won 68 of 86 Big Sky Conference regular season matches for a league record winning percentage of .791. Eastern is coming off its fi fth-straight season with at least 20 wins. EWU also went 4-0 against non-conference regional opponents Washington State, Gonzaga, Idaho and Boise State. After three-straight seasons of winning Big Sky Conference regular season titles (2002-04), the 2005 edition of the Eagles fi nished 23-9 (10-4 in Big Sky) and advanced to the championship match of the Big Sky Conference Tournament as the third seed, upsetting No. 2 Portland State in the semifi nal match, 3-1. In 2002, his team posted the best-ever winning percentage in the conference's history at .935 (29-2). Benson also put Eastern volleyball on the map that year when the team ranked in the USA Today/AVCA Division I Top 25 for the fi rst time ever and ultimately ranked as high as No. 15. Prior to that, Benson led EWU to its fi rst-ever NCAA Division I Tournament win as the team made it into the tournament's second round in 2001. All six of Benson's squads have received Game Plan/AVCA Team Academic Award. In addition, Eastern has averaged more than 1,000 fans per match all six seasons and has ranked in the top 30 nationally in attendance for eight-straight seasons. During the off-season, Benson serves as the club director and head coach of the Spokane Splash Volleyball Club. Benson is also camp director of the Northern Exposure Volleyball Camp in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. During his four years as a coach at Western Oregon University - three as an assistant - the Wolves posted a 45- 3 conference record and fi nished in the top fi ve nationally every season. In 1995, while serving as head coach at Western Oregon before coming to Eastern, Benson led the Wolves to a 43-7 record and a third-place fi nish at the NAIA Championships. After four seasons as an EWU assistant coach under Pamela Parks, Benson took over the head coaching duties in 2000. Parks, who had 291 wins in 18 seasons at the helm of the Eagles, was elevated to the position of associate athletic director-senior woman administrator. Benson and his wife, Jill, have a four-year-old son, Brady Jaymz, and a two-year-old daughter, Bailey Marie.
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