Robert Morris hires Oakland Catholic’s Eddie Benton as assistant women’s basketball coach

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Tuesday, April 9, 2024 | 6:03 PM


Oakland Catholic girls basketball coach Eddie Benton, who led the Eagles to consecutive section titles, is leaving for a job at Robert Morris.

The university announced Tuesday that Benton was joining the Colonials women’s basketball team as an assistant under recently hired head coach Chander McCabe. Benton, a veteran college coach before taking over WPIAL program, went 52-8 in two seasons at Oakland Catholic.

“I am excited about the opportunity to work with Coach McCabe and help her rebuild the Robert Morris women’s basketball program,” Benton said in a statement. “Being a native of Pittsburgh, I’m extremely passionate about bringing great talent and a championship mentality back to the Moon Township community.”

Robert Morris hired McCabe in March.

Oakland Catholic made postseason runs in both of Benton’s seasons. The Eagles were the WPIAL 5A runners-up in 2022-23 when they finished 26-5 and reached the state semifinals. They went 26-3 this past season while reaching the WPIAL semifinals and the state quarterfinals.

Benton’s previous experience included an eight-year tenure as head coach of the LaRoche women’s basketball team from 2004-12. He led the Lady Redhawks to the NCAA Division III tournament twice, earning AMCC coach of the year honors in 2011 and ‘12.

He has also worked as an assistant coach with women’s teams at Duquesne, St. Francis (Pa.), Brown, Cincinnati and Mississippi State. This isn’t his first time coaching at Robert Morris. Early in his coaching career, Benton worked three seasons as an assistant on the men’s basketball team under coach Mark Schmidt.

“Bringing Eddie on staff was a no brainer,” McCabe said. “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, a 1992 Perry graduate, led his City League team to PIAA basketball title his junior season. He later became the all-time leading scorer at Vermont, which inducted him into the university’s hall of fame in 2006.

After college, he played professionally in the CBA with Grand Rapids, and later overseas in Israel, Holland and Venezuela

Benton and his wife Daynia La-Force, who married in 2019, own training and consulting company BentForce Basketball. La-Force was head coach at New Haven, Northeastern and Rhode Island and an assistant with the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream.

Chris Harlan is a TribLive reporter covering sports. He joined the Trib in 2009 after seven years as a reporter at the Beaver County Times. He can be reached at charlan@triblive.com.

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