Chris Benassi was named the head coach of the Hood College cross country and track and field programs in the summer of 2018; and serves as the Hood College Director of Intramurals.
In his first season, Benassi coached AJ Lewis, who won the long jump at the MAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, and Fred Roberts, who earned All-MAC honors. Lewis was one of three Blazers who qualified for the ECAC Outdoor Championships. Eighteen of Benassi’s student-athletes were honored in the Middle Atlantic Conference Fall, Winter and Spring Academic Honor Rolls.
Benassi comes to Blazers after serving as the assistant coach at Nova Southeastern (Fla.) since February 2017. He was part of a coaching staff that led the Shark women to their first Peach Belt Conference Championship in school history and produced 22 individual conference track and field champions and 23 NCAA Division II Championship qualifiers.
During his two seasons working with the distance runners at Nova Southeastern, Benassi led the Sharks to three school records, coaching the 2017 Peach Belt Conference Champion in the 1500 meters, and an All-Conference and All-South Region honors athlete in cross country. Benassi also coached the Sharks’ throwers during their fall pre-season training phase.
As a graduate assistant at Humboldt State (Calif.) from 2013-15 while completing his master’s degree in kinesiology. Benassi and the Humboldt State coaching staff led their athletes to 15 NCAA Championship qualifying performances and eight individual CCAA champions.
Prior to Humboldt State, Benassi was a high school cross country and track and field coach in Maryland: Elizabeth Seton High School (2012-2013), Southern High School (2011-2012), and Dulaney High School (2010).
Benassi competed in cross country and track and field at Texas Christian University and Auburn University, graduating from Auburn in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration.
Coach Chris Benassi resides in Hyattstown with his wife, Alayne, and their two jack russell terriers.