Loretto, PA – Saint Francis University head women's basketball coach Joe Haigh has announced the addition of Eddie Benton, Jr. and Tenicha A. Gittens to his staff for the 2012-13 season. The pair of newcomers put the finishing touches on Haigh's first Red Flash coaching staff.
“We are very excited to welcome Eddie and Tenicha to the Red Flash family,” said Haigh. “Both bring a wide range of experiences that will add to our staff's collective coaching knowledge. Both are enthusiastic, hungry and excited to get started.”
Benton comes to Saint Francis after nine seasons the head women's basketball coach at Division III La Roche College in Pittsburgh. During his time with the Lady Redhawks, his teams won 108 games punctuated by 2011-12 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference regular season and tournament championships. After rolling to a 22-6 record in 2011-12, La Roche's Jessica Pitts was named AMCC Player of the Year, while Benton received the league's Coach of the Year award. Prior to La Roche, Benton served two years as an assistant coach at LaSalle University after spending three years as an assistant coach at Robert Morris University.
Benton played collegiate basketball at the University of Vermont, where he is the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,474 career points. He also ranks third in school history in career assists. Selected to the all-conference first team in four consecutive years, Benton had his jersey retired by the school in 1998. After graduating with his degree in sociology, he continued his professional playing career in the CBA with the Grand Rapids Hoops. After the CBA, Benton played professionally overseas in Israel, Holland and Venezuela.
“Eddie comes to us from Pittsburgh where he built a very good program at La Roche College,” said Haigh. “His head coaching experience, recruiting connections and energy will be a great addition to the staff.”
Gittens makes her way to SFU after working at La Salle University as the Director of Women's Basketball Operations for the past three seasons. Before La Salle, the native of Montreal, Canada spent one season as the women's assistant basketball coach at McGill University in Canada.
Gittens played her collegiate basketball at Hofstra University, where she competed for two seasons. While there, she earned the honor of Sixth Player of the Year as a junior. Before coming to Hofstra, Gittens played one season of junior college basketball at Eastern Arizona College, where she led the team to their best finish in school history. In high school she earned a first team all-star selection at Dawson, which is located in Montreal, Canada. As a senior, she would average 13 points, four assists and three steals.
“Tenicha comes to us from LaSalle University in Philadelphia where she was able to work and learn on a great staff,” said Haigh. “Her playing experience at Hofstra and at the junior college level as well as her desire and passion for coaching make her a great addition for us.”
The Red Flash will begin its first season under head coach Joe Haigh in 2012-13. Haigh was tapped in April to succeed Susan Robison Fruchtl, who resigned to lead Big East member Providence College. SFU went 14-16 last season but returns four starters, including 1,000-point scorer and former Northeast Conference Tournament MVP, Brittany Lilley (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park). The NCAA Division I Flash has won 11 NEC titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament 11 times since 1995.