|— Lacrosse player —|
New Canaan High School 1974 - 2007Fairfield College Preparatory School 2014 - present (Freshman/Asst.)
Howard Benedict is an American high school lacrosse coach, considered one of the "founding fathers of Connecticut lacrosse."
New Canaan High School
Benedict was hired at New Canaan High School in the summer of 1973 as an English teacher and to build the school's lacrosse program. He coached the school's first varsity team in New Canaan in 1974. 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 CT State Championships. In three different decades, he would help lead the Rams to undefeated seasons (1982, 1990, 2003), the most of any school in Connecticut. After a controversial dismissal by New Canaan High School administrators during the winter 2008, Benedict was named the US Lacrosse CT Man of the Year in the spring of 2008.
He was inducted into the Connecticut Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2011, as "truly a great coach." Also inducted in 2011 was one of Benedict's former players, Andy Towers. Towers was the first ever player inducted into the Connecticut Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
In November 2013, Benedict inducted New Canaan's first All-American, Carl Nissen, into the Connecticut Lacrosse Hall of Fame. On the same night, he inducted current Fairfield Prep lacrosse coach Christopher Smalkais. In January 2015, Benedict inducted another one of his players, David Curry, into the Connecticut Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Return to Coaching
In the spring of 2014, Benedict returned to coaching at Fairfield College Preparatory School, as a Varsity Assistant and as the Freshman Coach. At the conclusion of the 2014 season, Benedict was awarded the "Frank Barron Lifetime Achievement Award" for his extraordinary contributions to the sport of lacrosse in Connecticut.
- 1977: Connecticut High School Coach of the Year
- 1980: Connecticut Public School Senior All-Star Game Coach
- 1981: Connecticut High School Coach of the Year
- 1982: Connecticut High School Coach of the Year
- 1996: Connecticut High School Coaches Association Outstanding Coach of the Year
- 2001: Major League Lacrosse Star Reunion Honoree
- 2008: US Lacrosse Connecticut Man of the Year
- 2011: Connecticut Lacrosse Hall of Fame Inductee
- 2014: Frank Barron Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2014: New England Lacrosse Journal: #6 Greatest New England Coach
Benedict has coached a long list of outstanding players who have succeeded in the highest levels of college lacrosse. A number of his players were drafted 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 in Bridgeport Connecticut, 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 1984)*
- Darren Lawlor ’78 (Pacific Ridge School HC)
- Steve Schmitz ’80 (former New Canaan High School AC 2007)*
- John Kirk '83 (former Boston College AC)
- Paul Burke ’84 (South Kent School HC*
- Andy Towers ’87 (former Dartmouth College HC 2014)
- 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 2009)
- Bobby Lutz ’91 (Darien High School AC)*
- Tyler Hardy '93 (Maclay School HC)
- David Curry ’93 (former University of Virginia AC 2004)
- Dave Campbell ’96 (Middlebury College HC)
- Chip Buzzeo ’96 (New Canaan High School HC)
- Dan Geiger ’99 (former New Canaan High School AC 2013)*
- Paul Jespsen '00 (University of California-Berkeley AC)
- Dan Arestia ’02 (Darien High School AC)
- Chip Murray ‘08 (former Denison University AC 2013)