Texas Woman's head coach Benatar resigns to spend more time with family
DENTON, Texas -– Fleur Benatar, the only head soccer coach Texas Woman's has had, has decided to step back from her collegiate coaching career to devote more time with her family. Benatar tendered her resignation effective June 30.
“I want to thank TWU for an amazing 11 years and for giving me the ability to grow professionally as a coach and as a person,” said Benatar. “I will always be grateful to Chalese [Connors] for giving me the opportunity to start the soccer program at an exciting time for the university.”
Benatar has been the head coach at TWU since the program’s inception in fall 2002. In her 11 years as the Pioneers’ bench boss, she compiled an overall record of 63-119-23.
Most recently in 2012-13, Benatar guided her team to a successful season both on and off the field. The Pioneers advanced to their fourth postseason appearance in the Lone Star Conference tournament last fall and set a new team grade point average with a 3.566 that included six perfect 4.0’s. This past spring the soccer team had a 3.408 team GPA with five student-athletes earning 4.0’s.
“Fleur [Benatar] came to TWU when we had nothing but a recreational field and funding for four scholarships,” Director of Athletics Chalese Connors said. “I knew I had an energetic young coach who was ready for the challenges associated with a start-up program. She tackled them head on. She recruited great student-athletes, integrated new fundraising initiatives to help as we increased scholarships to a full 9.9 in her sport, and helped tremendously with the design of our facility and the vision for the future. She has always stayed focused on what was best for her players. I am forever thankful for her commitment to Texas Woman’s University. I understand that it’s time for a new chapter in her life, but she will be greatly missed.”
Under Benatar’s direction, 47 TWU soccer student-athletes have received All-Lone Star Conference honors, six earned All-South Central Region honors, 13 were named to the All-Lone Star Conference Academic Team and 54 received Commissioner’s Honor Roll. She also coached back-to-back LSC Academic Players of the Year in Aly Vincent-Evans in 2008 and Jacqueline Horner in 2009.
“We have such outstanding student-athletes at this institution who are eager, bright students and fierce competitors,” Benatar said. “I am proud of what has been established and I’m looking forward to seeing it grow with more success than ever. My family is growing as well and the time is right for me to concentrate on them. But I’ve got to say that I will miss my team and being their coach.”
In 2007, Benatar started a fundraiser hosting an annual triathlon with all the profits benefiting the TWU Soccer program. The Pioneer Power Sprint Triathlon, a USA Triathlon (USAT) sanctioned event, had more than 1,800 racers participate in the past six years.
Before coming to TWU, Benatar spent two seasons (2000-01) at the University of North Texas as an assistant to head soccer coach John Hedlund. She helped lead the 2001 Lady Eagles to the regular-season Sun Belt Conference championship and a 13-5 record.
While at TWU, Benatar served on an NCAA regional advisory committee, as a panelist for future NCAA coaches, and was invited to be a guest instructor at an NCAA Division II Sports Festival YES Clinic for youth. She has also coached at the club level and with Olympic Development Program (ODP) teams in the Dallas area.
A graduate of Richardson High School, Benatar played college soccer for two seasons at Arkansas before transferring to UNT in 1996. A midfielder during her playing career, Benatar competed for the Lady Eagles in 1996 and 1997.