Montclair State University head track and field coach Gerald "Bennie" Benson, Jr., who guided the Red Hawks into prominence on the Division III level, died on Friday evening. He was 36.
Benson spent the last nine years with the Red Hawks taking over a dormant program that last enjoyed success in the 1991-1992 seasons. Since then, Benson elevated MSU into one of the premier programs in the nation.
Bennie was a very special person, said MSU Director of Athletics Holly Gera. He was a tough competitor and a great track coach. He will be very much missed by all of us here at Montclair State. His warmth, his smile and his self-effacing sense of humor were always bright spots in the day.
Under his tutelage, Benson helped fashion three individual NCAA Division III champions and 42 All-Americans. In addition, Montclair produced 50 New Jersey Athletic Conference champions and saw over 100 athletes named to the All-Conference team.
A memorial service and viewing is scheduled for Wednesday, February 25 at 11:00 am, at St. Mark AME Church at 587 Springdale Avenue in East Orange, NJ 07017. Phone: 973-674-5859. Full Release