Dennis Bene returns to coaching as Sahuaro’s defensive line coach

Dennis Bene when he coached in the High School Senior All-Star Game in June 2021 with Al Alexander (background) one of his coaches (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Dennis Bene, who coached Salpointe Catholic to a 2013 state championship and amassed a 184-44 record in 19 years with the Lancers, is returning to the sidelines this fall at Sahuaro to coach with his former assistant Al Alexander.

Alexander, hired as Sahuaro’s head coach in February, confirmed Tuesday night that Bene will coach the Cougars’ defensive line.

Bene responded to a text message stating: “Al and I have worked together for so many years. He was very instrumental in my success at Salpointe. I am enjoying my role at Sahuaro supporting Al. We share many of the same values and principles, so it’s a very comfortable situation for us.”

Alexander was an assistant who became an associate head coach with Bene at Salpointe, where he was on the staff from 2004 to 2019.

“I will give him the same free will to coach just like he gave me that free will at Salpointe,” Alexander said. “We work so well together. We’ve known each other for a long time. Our families know each other. We’re excited about this opportunity.”

Also on Alexander’s staff is former Salpointe and Arizona cornerback Cam Denson, who had 300 yards of total offense in the Lancers’ 2013 state title victory over Scottsdale Chaparral. Denson is coaching Sahuaro’s defensive secondary.

Alexander went from coaching with Bene to being with Pat Nugent at Cienega and Mica Mountain the last two years as the offensive line coach. He also served as the offensive line coach with the indoor pro football team Tucson Sugar Skulls the last two seasons.

Alexander was a standout lineman out of the Los Angeles area who briefly was at UNLV before graduating from Western New Mexico.

The last time Bene, a Salpointe alum, was an assistant coach was in 2000, when he was on Jeff Scurran’s staff at Pima. He was hired to coach the Lancers in 2001.

He stepped down from Salpointe in 2019 to spend more time with family and concentrate on his role as vice president of Southern Arizona Paving and his ownership of the Ashton Company.


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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