Phil Benne is entering his 27th season as Head Women's Soccer Coach for the 2016 season.
The Chicago native is the winningest women’s soccer coach in the college’s history with an impressive overall record of 309-178-40. He is also among the nation's elite, ranked among the top-15 in NCAA Div. III for victories among active coaches, top-20 all-time in Division III in career wins.
Benne is a five-time ODAC Coach of the Year, his latest award coming after the 2015 season. Previous ODAC Coach of the Year Awards came in 1990, 1992, 1998, and 2007. He was named NSCAA South Region Coach of the Year in 1991 and 2007. Benne also received the VaSID State Coach of the Year Award in 2007.
Benne led his team to the ODAC Championship in 2015, where they fell to Lynchburg in penalty kicks. Six Maroons earned All-ODAC honors; senior Natalie Torres was named to the second-team All-Region and VaSID All-State honors. Benne celebrated his 300th win against Southern Virginia in September.
The 2011 season was another banner year for Benne's program, as the women finished 14-5-2 and made their third NCAA Tournament appearance. The Maroons fell to nationally ranked Centre in penalty kicks after a scoreless tie. It was the sixth-straight season with at least 11 wins.
In 2010, he guided his squad to a 13-4-3 record, including a 9-0-2 mark in ODAC play. It was the program's second undefeated conference record, with the last coming in 1988 (6-0) under previous head coach, Bob Hartman. The Maroons finished the year on a 13-game unbeaten streak (11-0-2) before falling in the ODAC semifinals. He produced two NSCAA All-South Region selections for the fourth consecutive year.
The 2007 season was a successful one, leading the Maroons to a school-record 18 wins, an ODAC runner-up finish and the program's second NCAA Tournament appearance. They defeated Methodist in the first round for Roanoke's first-ever post-season win. After falling to Lynchburg in the second round, the Maroons capped their season with an 18-4-1 record.
In the summer of 2013, Benne took the women's soccer team to Costa Rica on an exhibition trip. The Maroons take this trip every three years in which they participate in community outreach where the team has visited hospitals and helped with local day care facilities. During summer 2004, Benne took the team on a European exhibition trip. The team traveled to both the Netherlands and Germany during a two-week training, playing, and sightseeing journey.
The 1998 team finished 14-6-1 and won the ODAC Championship. In addition, the Maroons received a bid into the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. This season began the string of five-straight seasons with at least 10 wins from 1998-2002. The Maroons won 14 games in 1995 and 12 in 1996, which capped seven straight years with at least 10 victories. They advanced to the ODAC Championship in both seasons.
In 1993, the Maroons finished 11-7-1 and advanced to the ODAC Championship game for the fourth-straight year. In 1992, Benne led his team to a 12-6-1 overall record, 6-1-1 in the ODAC. Benne was named ODAC Coach of the Year. The highlight of their season was knocking off third-ranked North Carolina Wesleyan on Parents' Weekend. In 1991, Roanoke was ranked as high as ninth nationally and finished with 10 wins. In 1990, Benne led his team to 13 wins and was voted ODAC Coach of the Year for the first time in his career after leading the Maroons to their second ODAC Championship.
In his 23 seasons as the Head Men's Tennis Coach, Benne has compiled 155 career wins, including 91 victories in the ODAC. In 2007, his team won a school-record 15 matches and went 7-1 in the ODAC, the best conference record in school history (tied with the 2004 season). They also landed on the ITA Atlantic South Rankings for the first time ever. He was named ODAC Coach of the Year following the 1999 and 2004 seasons.
Benne made history in the spring of 1999. Also serving as the Head Men's Tennis Coach, Benne was recognized in 1999 as the ODAC Men's Tennis Coach of the Year, making him one of the very few coaches in league history to win a Coach of the Year award in two different sports in the same year.
After graduating from Wittenberg University in 1986, Benne joined Bob Hartman as an Assistant Women's Soccer Coach, leading the Maroons to the program's first winning season (9-3). He left Roanoke after one season to pursue a master’s degree at Alfred University, where he also served under Steve Allison as an Assistant Men's Soccer Coach for the Saxon's powerful program. After obtaining his graduate degree in 1987, he returned to Roanoke College as an Assistant Men's Soccer Coach in 1988 under Head Coach Scott Allison.
Benne completed a three-year stint on the South Region NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament Committee. He has also been a member of the NCAA South Region All-American Committee and served as chairman of the ISAA South Region in the past. He has an active role in local youth soccer, tennis, and basketball programs as a volunteer coach. He is also the director of several Roanoke College and Roanoke Valley area summer camps.
Benne, his wife Stephanie and three sons Andrew, Alex, and Max reside in Salem.