Benninger Named Men’s and Women’s Soccer Head Coach

August 3, 2022 | Athletics Campus News

Joseph Benninger is taking over as the full-time combined men’s and women’s head soccer coach at East Central College.

He had been serving as an assistant coach under Coach Martin Clayes, who recently took a position to coach professional soccer.

According to ECC Athletic Director Dr. Jay Mehrhoff, Benninger is ready to take the helm and lead a talented group of young men and women into the 2022 NJCAA fall campaign.

“Benninger has been instrumental in helping build the program at East Central College,” Mehrhoff said. “The women’s program has been a tough climb since the 2020 COVID season, but the roster looks ready to compete this year.

“Benninger’s hopes are to elevate the women’s program to compete for the region title in the same way he feels the men’s program is ready to compete each and every year,” Mehrhoff added.

He further added that Benninger has “a gift” when it comes to recruiting, along with a strong passion for soccer.

Benninger is a native of St. Louis and he played club and high school soccer under the rich traditions in St. Louis. He played high school soccer at De Smet Jesuit High School.

He then attended Truman State University, Kirksville, where he was a member and captain of the Bulldogs volleyball squad, during their most successful run in school history.

Along with his college experience, Benninger has coached and worked in administration in the USL League Two (USL2), formerly the Premier Development League (PDL), with the St. Louis Lions. He has also spent time coaching at the youth level.

Benninger has a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Truman State University.

“As the 2022 season approaches, Benninger hopes to fill an entire roster for the women’s team at ECC and build the men’s team into a contender right away,” Mehrhoff said. “Time will be of the essence as Coach Benninger works diligently to complete the 2022 schedule and get the Falcons soaring on the pitch.”