Tony Benford Promoted To Associate Head Coach
May 18, 2004
'Tony has matured into one of the top assistant coaches in the nation and I want him to be ready to make the next step, and being an associate head coach will help him get to that next level,' says Evans, who was an assistant coach at Texas Tech when Benford was a player in the mid-1980s. 'His work ethic is amazing, and he dedicates himself every day to making sure our current players are getting better and that we are recruiting players that Arizona State can be proud of both on and off the court.
'No assistant coach in the nation works harder than Tony and I want to make sure we recognize that at Arizona State.'
Benford, 40, spent six seasons at New Mexico (1992-98) and has been on the coaching staff of six NCAA tournament teams. He recruited Lobo stars Lamont Long, Charles Smith and Kenny Thomas and was a big reason why Ike Diogu chose ASU. Diogu was the first Associated Press preaseason All-American in school history last year and returns for his junior season in 2004-2005 after leading the Pac-10 in scoring at 22.8 points per game.
As a player, Benford led Texas Tech to Southwest Conference Tournament titles in 1985 and 1986 and was the second draft pick of the Boston Celtics in 1986. At Hobbs High School in New Mexico, he was the 1982 state player of the year.