Catawba extends 5-year contract offer to Bennett

By Ronnie Gallagher, The Salisbury Post

With his head football coach in South Carolina interviewing for a Division I-AA coaching job at Coastal Carolina, Catawba College president Fred Corriher said Monday morning that the school is trying to keep David Bennett at home.

“We’re doing something,” Corriher said, “that even the board of trustees are involved with in making David Bennett an offer he can’t refuse.”

Corriher was responding to a column in Sunday’s Post questioning the college’s commitment to keeping a man who has led the Indians to three straight Division IIplayoff appearances.
Corriher said Bennett was called in Wednesday. “The highest level of the Board of Trustees are supportive of what we’ve done and not just for David, but for his staff. It’s a compliment to Catawba that he is being considered. It’s a career move.”

“Catawba’s board of trustees approved a five-year contract with a roll-over fifth year, meaning that Coach Bennett’s contract will always be a long-term pact,” said athletic director Dennis Davidson in a prepared statement. “This is a very, very good NCAA Division II contract. Iwould imagine there are not many like it across the nation in Division II.”

Clint Conque, head coach at Central Arkansas, just signed a five-year contract with a rollover and reported it to be one of the top contracts in Division II.

“Everyone at Catawba — from the board of trustees, (Corriher), the vice-presidents and myself — recognize and appreciate the job David Bennett and his fine coaching staff has done. The football program has brought national attention to our great college and its success has paved the way for a new Shuford Stadium and a new field house,” Davidson said.

“Of course, we want Coach Bennett and his staff to remain in Salisbury.”

Bennett has been the head coach since 1995.

Davidson also made it clear the school appreciates the commitment Bennett has made to the school.

“Winning is great, but it is not everything,” Davidson continued. “Coach Bennett himself has said this many times. We most appreciate the fact that David is a man of great character and his main goal is to build fine young men, in addition to great football players. Those ingredients do not always come together in some of today’s coaches.

Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or .

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