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Coach Louis Bennett

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At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Bennett led the Panthers to five straight NCAA Tournament berths, including four consecutive appearances in the second round of the tournament and 136 victories over the last five seasons. The most successful coach in the history of UWM men's soccer, Bennett compiled a 136-63-17 record in 10 seasons.

“We now compete in one of the most competitive soccer conferences in the country, one that put seven teams in the NCAA Tournament this season and has won national championships,” said Bill Cords, Marquette University Director of Athletics. “Our goal is to compete for BIG EAST Championships, because that also means you are competitive nationally. Coach Bennett shares that vision,”

This will be Bennett's second institution at which he has served as head coach.

“What impressed me was the excitement and dedication from the top administration, including athletics director Bill Cords, all the way through the athletic department to the students,” Bennett said. “There's an excitement about men's soccer at Marquette.”

Since 2001, the Panthers have dominated the Horizon League posting a 41-4-2 record in conference play and earning five league titles. Over the same time, UWM was 14-1 in the conference tournament, reached five conference championship games, and won four tournament titles. Bennett also guided his squad to a 25-game league unbeaten streak (23-0-2) that stretched into the 2004 season.

In 2005, Bennett led UW-Milwaukee to its fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, winning the regular season crown for the fifth consecutive year and the conference tournament for fourth straight time. Bennett had UWM poised to upset top-seeded New Mexico in the second round of this year's national tournament before falling in penalty kicks.

The 2004 campaign included a fourth-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, winning the regular season crown for the fourth-straight season and the league tournament for the third consecutive year. That same year, Bennett surpassed Dan Harris in the UWM coaching ranks, becoming the school's all-time winningest coach in a Sept. 25 victory over Detroit. The Panthers' run in the NCAA Tournament included a 3-2 win at No. 16 San Francisco in the first round and an overtime loss at UC-Santa Barbara in the second round. UCSB made it the NCAA Championship game.

In 2003, Bennett earned a third consecutive Horizon League Coach of the Year award while leading UWM to its fifth-straight winning season. Milwaukee defeated Western Michigan, 4-1, to advance to the second round of the tourney for the second-straight year.

All of this came on the heels of a record-breaking season in 2002 which included a school-record 19-2-1 record, a No. 8 national ranking–the highest in school history, an NCAA-best 19 consecutive wins and the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament win. Bennett also earned NSCAA Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year honors as well as League Coach of the Year accolades.

In the 2001 season, UWM posted an 18-5 overall record, including a perfect 7-0 mark in Horizon League play. Under Bennett's direction, the Panthers advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1990 and for the fourth time in school history.

“It's the next stage in my career and it affords me a real challenge and excitement that I'm ready for,” Bennett said. “I look forward to competing in the BIG EAST and the opportunity to re-create the brand of Marquette soccer.”

Widely regarded as one of the top head coaches in college soccer, Bennett is a five-time winner of the Horizon League's Coach of the Year Award and twice was named Great Lakes Coach of the Year.

“I've always respected what Coach Bennett had accomplished,” Cords said. “We are so pleased he is part of the Marquette family and are looking forward to the future.”

Prior to taking over the head coaching position in 1996, Bennett served as an assistant coach at UW-Milwaukee from 1993 to 1995.

A tireless worker off the field, Bennett helped transform the UWM program by helping upgrade facilities and equipment. He oversaw the renovation of the playing surface at Engelmann Field and the locker room to reflect a more inspiring pre-game atmosphere. Bennett acquired and furnished the Panther Room to hold meetings, “chalk talks” and watch video on the 60-inch TV screen.

A native of Great Britain, Bennett has made the Milwaukee area his home since 1985. Two years later, he started the British-American Soccer Program in Milwaukee. He is now the owner and director of the organization that operates as a camp and touring program for soccer players ages 6-18. Prior to his assistant position at UWM, Bennett coached the boys' and girls' varsity soccer teams at Nicolet High School for five years. He also has coaching experience at the adult club level in Wisconsin with F.C. Victoria, the Bavarian Soccer Club and the Olympic Development Program.

Bennett played collegiate soccer at Crewe & Alsager College in England, helping win the British Colleges National Championship in 1982. He was also honored as a Great Britain Colleges International Player for three years. Bennett played professional soccer for seven years in the U.S., including three seasons with the Milwaukee Wave of the NPSL (1985-87).

Bennett is married to the former Julie Harper of Yorkshire, England. The couple has three children - Eston (14), Yve (11) and Louis (10) - and resides in Shorewood.


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