On Monday, Briar Woods boys’ basketball coach Mike Benson announced his resignation on Monday, citing a desire to spend more time with his 11-year-old daughter Alex.
Benson led the Falcons for seven seasons, compiling an 81-83 record that saw the team go from district cellar dwellers to title contenders.
“For me to be a head coach, I’m not going to let anything get in the way,” Benson said. “But I’m not going to let anything get in the way of my daughter. One had to go, and it was a pretty easy decision.”
The long practices at the gym will be replaced with hot afternoons at the softball diamond, where Alex Benson is beginning to spend a lot of her time. Benson plans to attend every game he can and has offered to help as a parent assistant to her team.
Briar Woods went 12-12 this past season and finished 3-7 in Conference 14. The Falcons went 3-18 during Benson’s inaugural 2007-08 campaign, but in the 2011-12 season, Briar Woods posted an 18-7 mark.
“We are certainly sad to be losing a coach and person of Mike’s quality in the basketball program,” Briar Woods athletic director Jerry Carter said in a statement. “Mike was the head coach for seven years and did a tremendous job of building our program.”
Benson will remain with the Briar Woods faculty as a social studies teacher and will continue to serve as the school’s head golf coach.
Benson said he’ll miss developing the kinds of relationships he built from various coaching stops at West Springfield (freshman boys’ coach), Stone Bridge (varsity girls’ coach) and Briar Woods. He also briefly served as the assistant athletic director at Freedom-South Riding from 2005-2007.
Though he initially called his resignation a retirement, Benson wouldn’t shut the door on a potential return to the hardwood someday.
“You never really retire from it,” Benson said. “My daughter’s my only one, so I don’t want to miss anything. Maybe eventually when she gets older and doesn’t want me around, then I’ll come back to basketball, or maybe go down the administration road at some point. For right now, I’m going to relax and enjoy whatever she’s doing.”