CONWAY, S.C. -- Coastal Carolina University President David DeCenzo and Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek announced this evening that David Bennett has been relieved of his head coaching duties, effective immediately, and he will be reassigned to another position within the University.
"This was, to date, the hardest decision I have had to make as President of this institution," DeCenzo said. "However, following an exhaustive review and assessment of our football program, I have concluded that new leadership is necessary to direct our program toward its goals. We will be forever grateful to David for shepherding our program from its beginning and developing our student-athletes into responsible members of our community."
Bennett is the only head coach Coastal's football program has known, coming to Conway in 2002 and laying the foundation for the 2003 season, the Chanticleers' first year of competition. Bennett compiled a nine-year record of 63-39. However, the Chanticleers were just 29-28 over his last five seasons, including a 15-12 mark in Big South Conference games.
"I was asked to complete a thorough evaluation of our football program that included a review of all on and off the field areas associated with the program," Yurachek said. "Upon finalizing this evaluation, it was decided that a change of leadership was necessary for our football program to continue to grow and achieve the level of success that is reflective of the investment the University has made in the program.
"A search for our new head coach will begin immediately with an aggressive timetable. I anticipate a significant level of interest from candidates across the country," Yurachek said.
Bennett owns a 16-year career head coaching record of 126-56, including a 63-17 mark in seven years at Catawba College prior to starting the Coastal Carolina program.
Bennett led CCU to four Big South championships (2004, 2005, 2006 and 2010) and was named the League's Coach of the Year twice (2004 and 2010). He led Coastal to the Big South's first and only NCAA at-large playoff berth in 2006, while earning the League's first NCAA automatic playoff berth in 2010.