|— Lacrosse player —|
|Coaching career||New Canaan High School 1974 - 2007|
Howard Benedict is the founder, and was the lacrosse coach at New Canaan High School for 34 years. He grew up in Fairfield Connecticut, and graduated from Fairfield College Preparatory School. Benedict was a varsity lacrosse player at Lafayette College, graduating in 1967.
He coached the first varsity team in New Canaan in 1974 (he was also an English teach at the school). Benedict founded the New Canaan Lacrosse Association in 1979. His brother, Jonathan, who went on to become the Chief Connecticut State Prosecutor (famous for convicting Michael Skakel), drew up the non-profit incorporation papers.
Benedict went on to win a combined 18 FCIAC and State Championships and is still the winningest coach in Connecticut lacrosse history. After a controversial dismissal in 2008, Benedict was named the US Lacrosse CT Man of the Year and elected into the Connecticut Lacrosse Hall of Fame, said to be a “founding father” of Connecticut lacrosse.
Benedict has coached a long list of outstanding players who have succeeded in the highest levels of college lacrosse. A number of his players went on to play professionally in the MLL, these include: Andy Towers ’87 (Brown), Scott Harrison ’91 (Duke), David Curry ‘93 (UVA), Austin Garrison ’98 (UNC), Dan Gross ’01 (Loyola), Tommy Harris '03 (Hartford), David Hawley ’07 (Brown) and Charlie Streep ’07 (Bucknell/UVA).
Benedict himself was honored by Major League Lacrosse at the "The Reunion Celebration," hosted by the MLL which was a tribute to the lacrosse talent produced by the state of Connecticut and those who have contributed to the game’s growth in the state. At halftime of the first-ever MLL Lacrosse Star game, Major League Lacrosse honored the coaches and players whose contributions have made Connecticut into an important pool. Benedict was named one of the Connecticut Lacrosse "Star Reunion Honorees"
"The sport of lacrosse has a very rich history, especially here in the great state of Connecticut," said MLL founder, Jake Steinfeld, CEO of Body by Jake enterprises. "Recognizing individuals like Guy Whitten, Howard Benedict and Jeff Brameier who have had a positive impact on the development of lacrosse enhances that rich tradition, not only for today, but for the future of the sport in Connecticut."
Many of Benedict’s players have become coaches at high level high school and colleges, these include: (current or most recent positions listed, listed oldest to youngest, * denotes having coached with Benedict at NCHS)
- Carl Nissen ’76 (former Hobart College AC ‘84)
- Darren Lawlor ’78 (Pacific Ridge School HC)
- Steve Schmitz ’80 (former New Canaan High School AC ’07)*
- Paul Burke ’84 (former Greenwich High School HC ‘09)*
- Andy Towers ’87 (Dartmouth College HC)
- Mike Murphy ’87 (University of Pennsylvania HC)*
- Jeff Barnard ’89 (Mamaroneck High School HC)
- Bill Maglisceau '89 (Annandale High School HC)
- Scott Harrison ’91 (former Scranton University AC '09)
- Bobby Lutz ’91 (Darien High School AC)*
- David Curry ’93 (former University of Virginia AC '04)
- Dave Campbell ’96 (Middlebury College HC)
- Chip Buzzeo ’96 (New Canaan High School HC)
- Dan Geiger ’99 (New Canaan High School AC)
- Paul Jespsen '00 (Greenwich High School AC)
- Dan Arestia ’02 (Darien High School AC)
- Chip Murray ‘08 (Denison University AC)