Janelle Benner enters her fourth season as Head Coach for the Bears, after serving as Associate Head Coach during the 2010 season. A 2006 graduate of Old Dominion University, Benner was named Division-I First Team All-American, Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Player of the year, ODU Female Athlete of the Year, and VASID (VA Association of Sports Information Directors) Player of the Year. Benner also recently obtained her Masters in Education from Cabrini College.
During the 2013 season, Benner led the Bears to the
Centennial Conference Championship and an appearance in the second
round of the NCAA Tournament.
During her first year at the helm of the Ursinus program, Coach Benner guided the Bears to a 19-4 overall record, 9-1 in conference. The Bears once again won the Centennial Conference Championship for the eighth straight time, defeating the Franklin & Marshall Diplomats by a score of 2-1. The Bears then went on to defeat Christopher Newport, Messiah, and Salisbury en route to another appearance in the semifinals of the NCAA Division III tournament.
A team captain for her junior and senior years, Benner led her team to three CAA Conference Championships, four NCAA tournament appearances, and two Final Four appearances. She was named to the 2005 NCAA All-Tournament Team.
Also as a senior, Benner was a 2006 NCAA Woman of the Year Finalist.
Academically, Benner graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 grade average and was named ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic First-Team All American, CAA Female Scholar Athlete of the Year, and four-time NFHCA Academic All-American.
Prior to joining Ursinus, Benner was the head coach at Manheim Central High School for three years where she led her team to three Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff appearances and two Pennsylvania District III playoff appearances.
She also is a coach for the Simply Field Hockey Club and was formerly a US Field Hockey Futures Elite Instructor for two years, and ODU Team Camp instructor for eight years.
In addition to coaching, Benner has played the violin since the age of three and was the former orchestra director at Manheim Central High School.
At Old Dominion, she was concertmaster of the Old Dominion Symphony Orchestra and 1st chair violinist of the Diehn String Quartet.