Former Benson football coach Chris Determan joins staff at Buena

Buena football coach Joseph Thomas, left, with new varsity assistant head coach Chris Determan (Buena photo)

Chris Determan, 144-85-1 in 19 years as Benson’s head coach from 2003 to 2021, has been hired as the varsity assistant head coach at Buena.

Determan (pronounced Dehd-er-man) will coach the quarterbacks, defensive backs and coordinate special teams as part of coach Joseph Thomas’ staff.

“I have known of coach Determan since 2003 and I met him in 2007,” Thomas mentioned in a text message. “He is an all-around great guy, friend and coach. His coaching history speaks for itself.

“He definitely knows how to get the best out of his players. I am excited to have him on staff here at Buena. He will be bring with him a great attitude, a lot of knowledge, a winning philosophy and a NEW NASTY to the program.”

Determan, 49, was a head coach for 21 years overall (he also coached two years of nine-man football at South Dakota in 1996 and 1997). He found out about the head-coaching position in Benson at a 2003 job fair, where he met Benson’s brass for an interview. He and his family traveled from South Dakota to Benson sight unseen to take the job when he was only 30.

He didn’t sign a football coaching contract at Benson last season after the school district’s administration demanded he change his run-oriented hybrid Wing-T offense into more of a modern passing attack.

Determan coached the Bobcats to 2A state final appearances in 2020 and 2015.

Dustin Cluff, a former assistant at Eagar Round Valley and Show Low, was hired last season to coach Benson. The Bobcats finished 5-6 in their first and only season at the 3A level.

Benson had its appeal approved by the AIA Executive Board to move back to the 2A conference last month.

Buena, which went 7-3 last season, is in a competitive 5A Southern region with Casa Grande, Cienega, Desert View, Marana and Sunnyside.


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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
To Top