June 25, 2007
Bridget Benshetler Resigns as Head Women's Basketball Coach at Salisbury
SALISBURY, Md. - Bridget Benshetler, the winningest women's basketball coach in Salisbury University history, has resigned from her position as head coach and instructor in the Health, Physical Education and Human Performance Department. Benshetler will leave the University on August 14 to become an assistant professor of Health and Wellness at Wor-Wic Community College.
Benshetler, 43, coached the Sea Gull women's basketball program for 17 years where she accumulated a 272-177 record, made five NCAA tournament appearances, captured three Capital Athletic Conference championships and coached five All-Americans.
"I could never thank the University enough for what it gave me," said Benshetler. "This University did more for me then I did for it."
For Benshetler SU was her first and only women's basketball head coaching position. She joined the Salisbury staff in fall 1990 after she earned her M.S. in health and physical education from West Chester University. Benshetler graduated from Hofstra University in 1986 where she was a member of the women's basketball team.
"I thank Bridget for her many positive contributions to our athletics program and University over the past 17 years," said SU Director of Athletics Dr. Michael Vienna. "She has played a vital role in the development of our students and student-athletes. She raised the level of our women's basketball program to unprecedented heights and for that I am thankful. We wish her well and the best of success as she moves into this next portion of her professional career."
Benshetler will continue to teach her PE 106 class along with various health classes at Wor-Wic Community College. She plans to earn her doctorate.
"It has always been a goal of mine to teach at the college level. This is the new phase of my professional career," said Benshetler. "I always saw myself not just as a coach but as a teacher. I like basketball, but I love the teaching of basketball and want to pursue that love of teaching full-time now at this stage in my life."
The search for Benshetler's replacement will begin immediately. The Sea Gulls were 15-11 last season and 8-6 in the CAC. SU lost in the CAC semifinals to No. 8 Mary Washington 79-58 to end its season. Salisbury will be lead by senior guard Meghan Phillips next season. Phillips was an All-CAC second team guard and was second on the team in scoring with 13.6 points scored per game.
"I want nothing but the best for the program and the student-athletes that are here," said Benshetler.
The most successful women's basketball team under Benshetler's reign was the 2001-02 team (24-5 record) that reached the NCAA Sweet 16 tournament round. In nine seasons (1994-2003) the Sea Gulls won three straight CAC championships (1999-2002), made five NCAA appearances (three in a row between 1999-2002) and posted a 176-72 overall record.
When asked about her favorite team Benshetler said her very last one was the best.
"My seniors said it was the best season ever. They were right. It was a great year," said Benshetler.
Benshetler leaves behind a SU women's basketball program that has been active in the Salisbury community. Her teams over the years have participated in numerous community service projects including reading days to youth, helping out the local Girl Scouts, participating in the College for a Day program and for the past 12 years adopting a family during the holidays. The Fort Worth, Texas native will continue to reside in Snow Hill, Md.
"I just love Salisbury University. This is very hard for me," said Benshetler. "I would like to thank everybody [I worked with] here. I feel honored to have been able work with every single coach here. This is the best University in the country to work for."
Release run with permission from Salisbury University.