|Title:||Honorary Assistant Coach|
Talk about the remarkable and successful history and tradition of Pacific Lutheran University men's tennis and the name of Mike Benson is intertwined with every sentence.
Starting with the 2011-12 season, the legendary (though he wouldn't use that word) Coach Benson returned to the program as an honorary assistant coach.
Benson started his Hall of Fame coaching career at Pacific Lutheran in 1970, right after he finished his playing career at the school. While compiling 400 career dual match wins over a 30-year career, Benson led his Lutes men's tennis teams to 24 Northwest Conference championships. He also led the PLU women's tennis team to five conference titles in his six years leading that program.
After Mike retired from the university in 1999, he and wife, Mary, moved to Thousand Oaks, Calif., where they could watch their second of two daughters, Kaaren, compete during her senior season for the California Lutheran University women's tennis team. Mike eventually returned to the women's tennis head coaching ranks, leading the CLU Regals program for three seasons, including the 2011 team as interim head coach.
Mike and Mary have since returned to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to older daughter Kristie and her family, and they now reside in Renton.