Bob Benson is beginning his 13th year as mentor of the Georgetown University football program. He has resurrected the program and built the Hoyas into one of the elite Division I-AA Non-Scholarship programs in the nation over the last eight seasons. This season will be the fifth for Benson and the University in the Patriot League, one of the top I-AA conferences in the country.
In his previous 12 seasons, Benson has posted a 68-57 record. The past four seasons Benson has had 82 players named to the Patriot League's Academic Honor Roll. In 2003 Georgetown had its first First Team All-Patriot League performer in wideout Luke McArdle (C '04) and last year defensive end Michael Ononibaku became the Hoyas' second First Team All-League selection. Five Hoyas have earned All-Patriot League Second Team honors. During the school's final four seasons in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the Hoyas won 29 of 32 games. GU won or shared the league's regular season title three times and Benson and the Hoyas won more than 77 percent of their games in the MAAC. In his first nine years on the Hilltop, Benson coached 33 District II Academic All-Americans and 40 MAAC Academic All-Stars. He had 82 players earn MAAC All-Conference honors, including 43 First-Team picks.
Benson, who was hired in May of 1993, is only Georgetown's second head coach since re-entering the NCAA football ranks in 1970. Georgetown, which had played Division III football since 1970, made the jump to Division I-AA in 1993.
Georgetown's 2004 season was highlighted by a 21-0 win over scholarship program VMI, and marked the first time the Keydets were held scoreless in 38 games. It was one of two shutouts the Hoyas produced on the season as they also blanked Davidson 23-0 in North Carolina. On the year GU finished 3-8 and 0-6 in conference play. Players under Benson succeeded nationally as Michael Ononibaku was named to Don Hansen's Football Gazette's 2004 NCAA Division I-AA First Team Defense All-America team. Also succeeding under Benson's tutelage was David Fajgenbaum who was the recipient of Georgetown University's 2005 McTighe Prize which goes to a Georgetown undergraduate who has demonstrated superior achievement in scholarship and service.
The 2003 Hoyas started the season off with three last second losses, including a 20-19 loss to eventual national runner-up Colgate in the season opener. GU ripped off three straight after starting 0-4, which included a 17-10 win at Lafayette and Georgetown's first victory over an Ivy League opponent in 65 years with a 42-20 win over Cornell in Ithaca, New York. The first 12-game season in Hilltop history ended with a 4-8 overall mark and a 1-6 record in league play.
Benson and the 2002 Hoyas rebounded from a tough start of the season to win four of the last six games, including two Patriot League victories. GU finished tied for sixth in the Patriot League after securing wins over Bucknell, 32-31 and a season ending victory at Towson, 24-16. Overall Georgetown finished 5-6, 2-5 in league play.
The 2001 campaign marked Benson and the Hoyas inaugural season in the Patriot League Georgetown played its most daunting schedule in the last 30 years. GU ended 2001 with a 3-7 overall record and a 0-6 record against Patriot League foes.
Benson's 2000 squad played as an independent as the Hoyas prepared to make the move to the Patriot League. They played a difficult schedule, including three games against Patriot League teams. GU also played road games against Duquesne and Davidson, who combined to finish 20-1. The Hoyas finished the season with a 5-6 record.
In their final season in the MAAC in 1999, the Hoyas compiled their second-straight 9-2 record. Georgetown tied for first place in the league, but lost the conference title on a tiebreaker. The nine wins tied the school mark set in 1925 and tied by Benson's 1998 Hoyas. In 1998, Benson's squad tied the school mark for wins in a season and also set a modern-day record. The Hoyas went 6-1 in the MAAC and Benson was named the 1998 Spalding/MAAC Co-Coach of the Year, the second-straight year he earned the honor.
Benson led Georgetown to its first MAAC title in 1997, posting a 7-0 record in conference play. The Hoyas, who finished 8-3 overall, went on to play in the ECAC-IFC Bowl Game. It was their first postseason appearance since participating in the 1950 Sun Bowl. Benson was named the 1997 Spalding/MAAC Football League and ECAC-IFC Coach of the Year. He was also the recipient of Georgetown's Outstanding Coaching Achievement Award. Prior to 1997, the last time a GU football team won eight games in a season was 1940 when the Hoyas were 8-2 and went on to play in the Orange Bowl. Benson's team also excelled in the classroom as six players earned GTE District II Academic All-America accolades and Steve Iorio (B '98) was the recipient of a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
In 1996, the Hoyas posted a 7-3 overall mark and a 7-1 record in the MAAC. For the second-consecutive year, Georgetown led all 118 I-AA schools in total defense, holding opponents to 218.2 yards per game. The Hoyas also led I-AA in rushing defense, limiting teams to 53.2 yards per contest. The two National Statistical titles were the third and fourth under Benson. GU led I-AA in total defense in 1995 and pass efficiency defense in 1993. Benson's Hoyas set school marks in total offense, rushing offense and scoring.
Benson came to Georgetown after serving as assistant football coach and defensive coordinator at Johns Hopkins University from 1990 to 1992. He was part of the staff that resurrected Johns Hopkins from two 1-9 campaigns to three-straight winning seasons. At Hopkins, Benson was responsible for all defensive schemes, game plan preparation, and defensive calls, as well as coaching special teams. In addition, he handled a significant part of the recruiting duties. Benson served as the head coach of the Blue Jays' men's track & field team as well.
Before working at Johns Hopkins, Benson spent the 1988-89 season at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He served as the defensive coordinator and defensive backfield coach. Benson was responsible for all the defensive schemes and calling the defense. He also coached the lacrosse team at WPI. He began his collegiate coaching career in 1986, when he served as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Albany. He spent a year as the defensive backfield coach and another coaching the defensive line.
Benson played wide receiver at Marietta College, but transferred to the University of Vermont after his playing career was cut short by an injury. In 1986 he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in history and then went on to earn a Master's of Education in History/Education from the University of Albany in December of 1987.