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Benedict named Iola AD

July 25, 2019 - 18:00
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    Courtesy photo Kent Benedict is appointed as Iola athletic director replacing Dwayne Ross. Benedict is entering his sixth year with Iola.

IOLA- Iola Independent board of trustees named Kent Benedict as Iola’s athletic director Tuesday, July 16. Benedict replaces Dwayne Ross who served as AD in Iola for two years. Ross has accepted a position as principal at Anderson-Shiro Consolidated High School.

Benedict is entering his sixth season with Iola and has served as head basketball coach and an assistant in football.

“I’m excited and ready to get going,” explained Benedict. No better way to test the water than by diving straight in and that’s exactly what Benedict did.

“My first five to seven days on the job and the first order of business is to hire a new head football coach,” said Benedict. “What a way to get your feet wet.”

Benedict is entering his 10th year of coaching. He began his coaching career in 2010 as the head freshman football and basketball coach in Dickinson. In 2012, Benedict became a varsity assistant at Goose Creek Memorial in Baytown.

In 2014 Benedict landed in Iola. “I’m inheriting a situation where we are very successful in both our boys and girl’s athletic programs. The challenge is to maintain that winning tradition and keep it going. You don’t want to be the guy that doesn’t continue that success,” expressed Benedict.

Looking ahead, Benedict said they want to create a championship atmosphere for the students. Eventually Benedict said he would like to see Iola get into the Lone Star Cup. He said they came close in 2015. The Lone Star Cup sponsored by Texas Farm Bureau, is awarded to one high school in each classification based on their team performance in district and state championships. The winner receives the Lone Star Cup Trophy and a $1,000 scholarship.

Benedict said winning the Lone Star Cup is challenging since Iola currently competes in only four sports. “We can’t do it this year, but in the future, we hope to expand and offer more sports in Iola,” said Benedict.

Benedict said he is excited about his first two hires as an athletic director hiring a new head and assistant football coach. “They both have a lot of experience and I can’t wait to announce them. We are fortunate to hire coaches of their caliber,” said Benedict.

Benedict said once contracts are finalized the new football coaches will be publicly released.