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Monday, March 10, 2008

Benoit named football coach at Hamden

When Paul Catino resigned from his post as Hamden’s football coach in January it was a position that generated plenty of interest. Less than two months later, the job has been filled.

Scott Benoit, who coached at Guilford the past three seasons, was announced Monday as the Green Dragons’ new coach by Hamlet Hernandez, Hamden’s Assistant Superintendent.

Hernandez said they received 30 applications and that 10 candidates were interviewed. The interviewing process was completed last week. Benoit went 15-14-1 in three seasons at Guilford.

“I was happy at Guilford,” Benoit said. “I wouldn’t leave for just any job. Hamden is a tremendous opportunity for me. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done.”

Hamden, one of the largest schools in the state, has recently fallen on hard times. The Green Dragons went 1-7-2 last season and won just one game in 2006.

“The chance to coach a Division I SCC (Southern Connecticut Conference) and a Class LL school is a draw for me,” said Benoit, who was previously the head coach at North Branford for five years.

With many of Benoit’s assistant coaches from Guilford moving over to Hamden as well, Benoit thinks it will be a smooth transition and he and his staff are ready for the challenge.

“We’re ready to go,” Benoit said. “We’re going to meet with the kids (today). We’re not really going to change a lot of things from what we did at Guilford. I’m brining a few (coaches) over so there will be good continuity.
“I think we need to reinstall pride in the program. It’s a general thing but it has to matter. A lot of work has to be done. It’s a rough schedule (playing in the SCC) but it’s a school with a lot of talent and success in the past.”