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UConn has a strong group of experienced head coaches.
Schantz brings extensive and national experience to UConn.
UConn enjoyed another solid year under Benedict's leadership in 2017-18 as both the women's basketball and field hockey teams advanced to NCAA Final Four competition, while the baseball team also played in the NCAA tournament.
Student-athletes had success in the classroom as well in 2017-18 with 34 Huskies earning a 4.0 GPA and 81 percent of teams achieving a 3.0 or better. 16 of UConn's 24 teams earned a perfect APR (Academic Progress Rate) with the football team posting a program best score of 980.
Benedict has introduced several new progressive initiatives to bolster the UConn fan experience.
UConn partnered with The Aspire Group to enhance ticket sales and revenue. Aspire provides the school with innovative ticket marketing, sales and service solutions with an in-house sales staff on campus. In addition, UConn is working with the "Tailgate Guys" to offer premium tailgating opportunities at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field and "Husky Seats" through IMG College Seating, which allows fans to rent a seatback for the entire football season.
In addition, the UConn football team made its first-ever appearance at Boston's Fenway Park this season against Boston College on Nov. 21, 2017 as part of the Fenway Gridiron Series.
Under Benedict, UConn has extended its exclusive sponsorship agreement with Nike through the 2022-23 academic year. The total value of the contract to the University from 2017-23 in combined product and cash is $32.45 million.
Benedict is also overseeing plans and fundraising for critical new facilities to house the UConn men's and women's soccer, baseball and softball teams.
In December of 2016, Benedict brought Randy Edsall back home to UConn as head football coach -- after Edsall established himself as the winningest-coach in program history from 1999-2010.
Prior to UConn, Benedict served as the Chief Operating Officer for the athletics department at Auburn University for two years. Benedict is a highly-experienced athletic administrator who served as the Deputy Athletic Director at Minnesota (2012-14) and in leadership positions at Virginia Commonwealth (2010-12), Long Beach State (2007-10) and Arizona State (1996-2006).
Benedict directed all the day-to-day operations of the Auburn athletic department, with particular emphasis in operational planning, resource allocation, budget development and strong financial management. He led the department in developing strategic long-range plans for a $120-plus million budget, facilities, staffing and accomplishing strategic goals.
He coordinated a five-year strategic plan for Auburn athletics, which featured initiatives for strategic priorities and goals. Benedict directed a team of staff members and coaches in creating a facility master plan and the initiation of a game-day master plan.
Benedict led a feasibility study to make renovations to Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium that initiated a $150-$180 million project. He negotiated a unique nine-year extension with Under Armour that included both product, cash and $10 million worth of stock.
Benedict provided ongoing support for the administration of the Auburn football program and was the men's basketball sport administrator.
At Minnesota, Benedict held a similar position as he identified areas to increase external support and provided stewardship for sponsors and major donors. He worked with the University of Minnesota Foundation to create the largest athletics campaign in school history. Benedict directed a number of contracts and relationships that helped increase the Gophers' revenue intake.
Benedict was the Executive Associate Athletic Director at VCU during his time there and also served as Interim Athletic Director for several months. At VCU, he increased annual giving, tickets sales and sponsorship revenues each year. While serving as Interim AD, Benedict led the school's transition from the Colonial Athletic Association to the Atlantic 10.
In his role at Long Beach, he administrated all external areas of the department and restructured the entire fundraising process. Benedict was also the baseball sports administrator. He was the Associate Athletic Director for Development at Arizona State and streamlined all areas of external relations.
A native of Tempe, Ariz., Benedict is a 1995 graduate of Southern Utah, where he was a linebacker on the football team. He earned a master's degree from New Mexico Highlands in 1996, where he served as a graduate assistant football coach.
Benedict and his wife, the former Lisa Zeis, have twin boys -- Jake and Sam. Lisa was a four-time gymnastics All-American and two-time NCAA champion at Arizona State.
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