Cerro Coso athletics welcomes two new coaches

Cerro Coso athletics welcomes two new coachesCerro Coso’s newest coaches Devin Bennett (softball) and Chris Dugan (men’s basketball) — Courtesy photos

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Cerro Coso Community College has announced the addition of two new head coaches to lead women’s softball and men’s basketball programs during the coming school year.

Coyote Softball Head Coach Devin Bennett comes to Cerro Coso by way of Southwestern College in the San Diego area, where she served as assistant coach to Yasmin Mossadeghi since the summer of 2015. As a member of the Jaguar coaching staff, she helped to lead the team to records of 24-17 (2016), 27-12 (2017) and 24-15 (2018).

During each of these seasons, her team made the post-season, including a first-ever hosting bid in 2017. Her involvement with the team’s success didn’t end there as she also played a role in supporting three first- team All-PCAC players, four second-team All-PCAC players and two first-team All-SoCal players; and transferred 11 student athletes to four-year universities.

Other notable stops along Bennett’s journey include coaching stints at William Penn University, Cal State San Bernardino, Victor Valley College and College of the Desert.

“Cerro Coso Community College is very pleased to have Coach Bennett take the reins of Coyote softball, as she brings a vast scope of experience to the Athletic Department,” said Athletic Director John McHenry. “She is no doubt a great addition to the program, the college and the community of Ridgecrest.”

Although Bennett spent the majority of her childhood in Overland Park, Kan., she was born in Visalia , where her family still resides. Softball has always been a part of her life as she began her love of the sport at the age of 4 and went down a path that would take her on to play at Iowa Lakes Community College and eventually William Penn University as a member of the 2009 conference championship team.

“This opportunity to become part of the Cerro Coso family has been exciting,” said Bennett. “The school has already demonstrated tremendous support, and it is great to be a part of a program that truly wants to become successful. I would like to express my appreciation for the many mentors, family and close friends for all their support and knowledge they have bestowed on me during this journey to become a head coach.”

Chris Dugan will take the lead with the men’s basketball program as it enters its third year since reinstatement.

Dugan come to Cerro Coso by way of College of the Sequoias, a member program of the Central Valley Conference and a perennial strength in the California community college basketball scene.

During his tenure at COS, Dugan served as the lead assistant to Head Coach Rusty Smith and a team that finished third in the CVC last season, making a strong postseason run.

Dugan has worked in his current role since 2013 and has been charged with recruiting, planning and operations and on-the-court coaching duties. Prior to his stint with COS, he worked with San Jose State Men’s Basketball as an operations coordinator, assisting the coaching staff with player development, stat analysis and film exchange.

His knowledge and prior experience at both the four-year and community college level will serve as an asset to the Coyote Athletic Department, and he will become a valued mentor to the student-athletes on campus, said a CCCC spokesperson.

“I would like to thank the college for trusting in me to make a positive impact on the program and build on its strengths,” said Dugan. “I have a sincere, unbridled enthusiasm to help student athletes be successful on and off the court.”

“The college is ready to welcome and embrace both Coaches Dugan and Bennett into the Coyote athletic family,” said CCCC President Jill Board.

“They bring a breadth and depth of knowledge regarding coaching at the community college level, and Dugan’s understanding of the Central Valley Conference will be a great asset.”

Story First Published: 2018-09-07