Community R-VI head boys basketball coach James Benson ended this past school year with high expectations for his Trojans team that dropped down from Class 2 to Class 1 during the 2012-2013 season.
The farthest thing from his mind was the possibility of him not being a part of it.
Then came a family reunion on Memorial Day where he reconnected with a relative from a Colorado Class 5 School District with a soon-to-be retiring head coach.
A few weeks later, Benson was offered an opportunity his family couldn’t refuse.
Benson has turned in his letter of resignation at Community R-VI and accepted the job as a JV coach, varsity assistant basketball coach, Social Studies teacher, and a position involving physical education at Legend High School in Parker, Colo.
The Class 5 Legend Titans district has 1,900 students in the district and the basketball program recently won two state titles. The atmosphere with gyms seating 4,000-5,000 fans is similar to what he experienced growing up in Indiana.
“They were looking for a coach in waiting,” said Benson of Legend, who plays in the biggest conference in Colorado. “…I don’t want to be that guy who regrets not doing this 10 to 15 years later…Obviously with the group I have coming in, I wouldn’t want to go anywhere. Any sane coach wouldn’t leave what we have here but for my career and my family, this is by far the decision I need to make.”
Benson said he never had any intentions of leaving but when all of the pieces came together so quickly, he knew it was the best decision to make for his family.
Benson said the most difficult part of his decision is leaving behind his players, their parents, and a district that gave him his start in his coaching career.
“It’s bitter sweet for those boys; all of my emotions are with them,” said Benson, who also noted that he will miss the support and friendship of the district’s parents and staff.
“…I’m hoping and praying they get somebody in good to come in and continue what we did this past year and even this summer.”
Benson will continue coaching the players through the Summer Shootout schedule.