Dennis Bene, who coached Salpointe to its only state championship in 2013, informed AllSportsTucson.com on Wednesday night that he has declined the school’s offer to return as head coach.
“Yes, I was offered the job, but our visions didn’t align so I declined,” Bene mentioned. “I wish my alma mater all the best as they move forward.”
Eric Rogers stepped down last week as Salpointe’s coach after leading the program the last four years after Bene resigned at the end of the 2019 season.
Rogers, a Canyon del Oro graduate, was 35-12 as the Lancers’ head coach.
Salpointe advanced to the 5A state championship game in 2021 under Rogers with senior quarterback Treyson Bourguet as one of the standouts.
The Lancers finished 10-3 this season with a loss to eventual state champion Scottsdale Saguaro in the semifinals of the 6A state tournament. Division I bound defensive ends Elijah Rushing (Oregon) and Keona Wilhite (Washington) were part of Salpointe’s heralded defense.
Bene, who amassed a 184-44 record in 19 years as the Lancers’ head coach, has served on the staff of Al Alexander at Sahuaro the last two seasons. He was the defensive line coach in 2022 and offensive coordinator last season.
Alexander was a longtime assistant of Bene’s at Salpointe.
Salpointe has one of the three reported head coach openings locally.
The others are at Benson and Sahuarita.
Legendary veteran coach Jeff Scurran, who was inducted into the Pima College Athletics Hall of Fame on Sunday, has publicly indicated that he is contemplating retirement to spend more time with family after more than 50 years in coaching, including the last two seasons at Rio Rico.
FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER!
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 in 2016 and is presently a special education teacher at Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District.