Senior Associate Director of Athletics John Benedick has been recognized by the Executive Board of the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) as the 2019 Ben Franklin Award Winner. Benedick was honored in person at the 59th Annual CSCAA Awards Banquet on May 6th in Myrtle Beach.
"I am deeply honored to receive the Ben Franklin Award,” said Benedick following the Awards banquet. “It is humbling to be included in the list of incredibly accomplished coaches who have previously won this award. Being presented this award in the presence of my very close friends and colleagues made the event that much more special. I can’t thank the Board of the CSCAA enough for their dedicated hard work, forward thinking, and leadership on behalf of all college swimming coaches."
The Ben Franklin Award seeks to recognize pioneering individuals or organizations whose efforts and innovations best promote the integrity and enhancement of the student-athlete ideal. Nominees contributions may be technical, social, economic or though their leadership actions.
Currently in his 44th year of service to MIT Athletics, Benedick has served as the Senior Associate Director of Athletics, Director of Compliance, Head Men’s and Women’s Swimming Coach, and the Head Coach of Water Polo. During his 22-year tenure as a coach, he produced over 50 All-Americans while also developing three National Champions. He was twice honored as the Coach of the Year from the New England Intercollegiate Swimming Association, and coached numerous conference champions. He was also integral in the development of the Zesiger Aquatic Center, one of the premier facilities on the east coast.
Benedick has also been active in coaching organizations throughout his career, having served as the President of both the Collegiate Water Polo Association and the New England Intercollegiate Swimming Association, Secretary Treasurer of the New England Water Polo Association, and as a member of the NCAA Rules Committee for Water Polo. He was also a part of the Women and Minorities Strategic Alliance Grant Committee for the NCAA and has served on numerous review committees for NCAA institutions.
In nominating Benedick for the award, MIT Head Coach Dani Korman reinforced that his work has always centered on promoting the integrity of the student-athlete ideal. “Academics are of high priority at MIT,” explains Coach Korman, “but he also understands the value athletics plays into their success as a student and future leader so he is there pushing us to better the student-athlete experience.”
“What impresses me the most, is that he always wants to get to ‘yes’ - but will never take a shortcut,” commented MIT Athletic Director Julie Soriero. “He operates with the highest degree of thoroughness and integrity is seeking answers and has always put the reputation of the Institute in the forefront.”
Benedick graduated from California State University at Hayward with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education before going on to earn his Master's degree in motor learning and sport sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. As a swimmer and water polo player at Cal-State Hayward, Benedick was an All-American in three individual events and two relays. He was also the team captain and Far Western Conference Champion in the 50-yard freestyle. In 2012, he was inducted in to the Collegiate Water Polo Association Hall of Fame.
Benedick announced his retirement in the fall season, effective at the conclusion of the 2018-19 academic year. You can see the full press release from the CSCAA by clicking here.