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Maryland men’s lacrosse hires former Johns Hopkins assistant Bobby Benson as offensive coordinator

Two days after losing offensive coordinator J.L. Reppert to Holy Cross, the Maryland men’s lacrosse team moved quickly to fill the void, hiring former Johns Hopkins offensive coordinator Bobby Benson.

Although Benson and Terps officials declined to comment, a source with knowledge of the hiring confirmed the development Sunday. The move was first reported by Inside Lacrosse.

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Benson had been the Blue Jays offensive coordinator for 14 years until April 14 when the university decided not to renew a contract with then-head coach Dave Pietramala. Peter Milliman was hired away from Cornell to succeed Pietramala, and he brought a new staff with him.

Under Benson’s direction, Johns Hopkins ranked in the top 15 in scoring six times since 2011 and was 16th in 2017. During Reppert’s tenure, Maryland ranked in the top 15 four times in six years, including 10th at 15.7 goals per game last spring before the season was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Benson will inherit a Terps offense that returns all six starters from 2020 in senior attackmen Jared Bernhardt (20 games and nine assists in six starts) and Logan Wisnauskas (24, 12), senior midfielder Bubba Fairman (five, six), senior midfielder Anthony DeMaio (10, 11), sophomore attackman Daniel Maltz (12, 6) and sophomore midfielder Jack Brennan (six, three).

“I think he’s got a real good group to work with and one that will really benefit from him,” Pietramala said. “They lose a guy who, as I know him, is a terrific person. J.L. Reppert helped them win a national championship, and they replace him with a guy who knows how to win and who is a high-character game and who knows the game. I think Bobby will quickly but intelligently find his place and be a great fit for them.”

With the lacrosse season projected to begin next month, the timing of the hiring might seem abrupt. But Pietramala said Benson’s knowledge of Maryland from Johns Hopkins’ annual rivalry with the Terps and his familiarity with the Big Ten should be an advantage.

“You’ve got a guy who’s not going in cold turkey,” Pietramala said. “It’s not like he doesn’t know who these guys are. Many of them were kids that we recruited. So we know them through their high school years and he knows them through their college years after playing against them. So that familiarity is going to be helpful. Knowing the Big Ten and knowing the league itself and how the Big Ten style of play is and the defensive coordinators and the defensive personnel on the other teams, he’s very familiar with that. So the adjustment really comes from getting to know the new people he’s coaching, and I think the staff will help him with that, and I think the kids will help him with that.”

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Pietramala acknowledged that there might be a period of transition for Benson and the Maryland players and head coach John Tillman. But he predicted that Benson would adapt quickly.

“Xs and Os are what they are,” he said. “They’re not complicated. I don’t know that anybody’s reinventing the wheel here. It’s really a matter more of finding what’s right for the group that you’re working with, finding what positions to put them in to be successful, and that comes with getting to know the kids and getting to know them more in-depth as players and people. I’m certain Bobby will do that, and I’m certain the head coach will help them in that transition.”

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