John E. Benington

John E. Benington (1921-1969)

Teams coached: Drake Bulldogs, Saint Louis Billikens, Michigan State Spartans
Drake record: 21-28 (.429)
Saint Louis record: 118-71 (.624)
Michigan State record: 54-38 (.587)
Overall record: 193-137 (.585)

Career Accomplishments:

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1965-1969 Michigan State
1958-1965 Saint Louis
1956-1958 Drake
1950-1956 Michigan State (asst)

John E. Benington Facts

  • John E. Benington
  • Born December 31, 1921
  • Died September 10, 1969
  • Hometown: Findlay, Ohio
  • Alma Mater: University of San Francisco (BA, 1949)
  • Played at USF for Hall of Fame head coach Pete Newell; was part of the Dons’ 1949 NIT championship squad
    • Later inducted into the San Francisco Athletic Hall of Fame (c/o 1970)
  • Started his coaching career as an assistant under Newell, who left USF for Michigan State in 1950
    • Stayed on the Spartans’ staff for four seasons under Newell and then two under Forddy Anderson
  • Hired to be the head coach at Drake in 1956, going 21-28 in two seasons with the Bulldogs
  • Left Drake for Saint Louis in 1958, coaching the Billikens for the next seven seasons
    • Went 118-71 overall, reaching four NITs and finishing runner-up in 1961
    • Finished every season but one above .500 and 4th place or higher in the Missouri Valley
    • Also served as the school’s athletic director from 1964-65
    • Later inducted into the Billikens Hall of Fame (c/o 1994)
  • Returned to Michigan State in 1965, spending the next four years as the Spartans’ head coach
    • Went 31-14 over his first two seasons, winning a share of the Big Ten title in 1967
    • Tragically passed away in 1969 after suffering a massive heart attack while jogging on campus at Jenison Fieldhouse
    • MSU awards the John E. Benington Defensive POY Award annually to that year’s best Sparty defender

John E. Benington Coaching Tree