Newly Appointed Women's Soccer Coach
After what seemed to be a heated and controversial issue when last year's interim soccer Head Coach Patrick Seymour and his staff were not retained by Athletic Director Rhonda Hyatt, finally Santa Monica College has a newly appointed head coach.
His name is Aaron Benditson and at only 25 years of age, he will be directing the Lady Corsairs soccer team this upcoming season.
"Aaron was exposed and mentored by several coaches that I personally observed to be excellent game strategists," said Hyatt.
An outstanding player in his own right, Benditson has a teaching philosophy of teamwork which is something he will look to implement during the summer and the 2005 season.
"If you have 11-12 players, it doesn't mean you're going to win. But if you have a team that's willing to lay it out there on the line, you're going to have a successful team," said Benditson. "Always have a team first more than anything."
Benditson's soccer career started at the age of 5 when his parents pushed him to play soccer, the only sport Benditson was allowed to play.
Growing up only playing soccer, Benditson's achievements and winning mentality came early. At age 14 he joined the Maccabees Boys and Girls Soccer League, which is the largest organized sports program for Jewish teenagers in the world.
As part of Team Los Angeles, Benditson received two Gold medals, giving his team the honoring title of the best team in the nation. Because of his success in the Maccabees League, Benditson was invited to compete in Israel. His involvement spans over 10 years and continues today.
Attending Oak Park High School is where he really got into soccer. "In high school it was all about playing," said Benditson.
After high school, Benditson received a scholarship to play at California State University of Sacramento.
After a season where he was away from home, Benditson decided to play closer to home. He received another soccer scholarship to play at Cal State Northridge. At CSUN Benditson was coached by his mentor who happened to be a friend of the family. During his four years at CSUN, Benditson wanted to share his knowledge and passion for the sport.
As a defender he received the All League Honorable Mention and was voted best defensive player by his team. Benditson continues to share his knowledge of soccer as he still coaches and volunteers with several youth leagues like Team L.A. in the Maccabees leagues.
He will be head coach for the Westside Breakers, an all girls club for girls under the age of 13.
In late July, he will be assistant coach for an Olympic development league in Montana. The assistant coach of the Los Angeles Galaxy Billy McNicol invited Benditson. Benditson's younger brother Benjamin Benditson is part of the L.A. Galaxy and was selected in the first round of the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft (10th overall).
As Benditson gears-up for the season, he will have seven returning players and two athletes who played two years ago. To date, Benditson has 10 new players and is looking for more.
"I expect to see a commitment to developing the current student athletes to the best of their ability and to establish a foundation for recruiting future athletes to SMC," said Hyatt.
Returning players who are looking to make an impact are third team Western State Conference (WSC) selections Kristie Harrison and Miquella Martinez.
Also hoping to create a further impact on this coming years team is All League goalie, Perla Ramirez.
"I think they understand we're trying to do something special, and their attitudes are a catalyst for other players," said Benditson. Last year's assistant coach Tim Pierce will also be returning.
Benditson and Pierce knew each other in their college days as they competed against one another when Pierce attended UCLA.
"We knew each other and ended up having a chat. He has an offensive mind-set and I have a defensive one so we clicked. I also liked that he was eager to come back to the program," said Benditson. Benditson's knowledge and experience with the game of soccer should prove beneficial for SMC's team.