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.