Chuck Benson joins hoops staff

University Tennessee head basketball coach Buzz Peterson announced today that Chuck Benson joined the Volunteer basketball staff as an assistant coach. His father, Charlie Benson, coaches the Tennessee Travelers, annually one of the most talent-rich AAU teams in the state.

''Throughout this whole matter of hiring someone I wanted to look for someone who can help us with in-state recruiting,'' Peterson said. ''Chuck is someone who knows people here. He is not a stranger to the state of Tennessee or the University of Tennessee. He is hungry to get into Division I coaching. The things I like most about him are his eagerness to coach and his ties to Tennessee. He is someone who is proud to wear orange and white and to be at the University of Tennessee.''

Benson is no stranger to the University of Tennessee. The Newport, Tenn., native spent one season as an assistant coach on Wade Houston's staff (1993-94) and then two years as an administrative assistant (1994-96) under Kevin O'Neill. A 1991 graduate of Carson-Newman College, Benson spent the last seven years as the head coach at Martin Methodist College. During his time in Pulaski, the Indians recorded a 137-95 record, had four straight seasons with at least 21 wins, made three straight appearances in the NAIA National Tournament, advanced to the ''Sweet Sixteen'' two times and four players earned All-America honors. Benson also has gained collegiate coaching experience at Lincoln Memorial University (1991-92) and Carson Newman (1992-93).

''I am very excited to be here at the University of Tennessee,'' Benson said. ''I feel good about the direction that Coach Peterson and his staff have things going here. This is going to be a good situation for many years to come.''

Benson fills the spot on Tennessee's coaching staff left vacant by Kerry Keating, who took a similar position at UCLA. Peterson still has an administrative position available on his staff that he hopes to fill within the next month.

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