Arizona Cardinals assistant Sam Bennett named to Rainbow Warriors coaching staff


University of Hawai’i head football coach Todd Graham announced his first coaching hire on the offensive side of the ball with the addition of Sam Bennett. 

Bennett comes to UH after spending last season with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals as a coaching assistant. He worked under head coach Kliff Kingsbury and the offensive staff assisting with daily practice and game planning in all facets of the offense. 

“Coach Bennett is one of the brightest coaches and best teachers I have encountered in my 30+ years of coaching,” Graham said. “We are so thrilled to welcome him and we can’t wait for him to get started.”

Bennett is the son of Phil Bennett, who enjoyed a 40-year coaching career including a stint as head coach at SMU.

Prior to joining the Cardinals, Bennett spent three years at Arizona State – two as an offensive graduate assistant and one as an offensive analyst. In those three seasons, the Sun Devils offense averaged 31.7 points and 413.3 yards per game. In his final year in Tempe in 2018, running back Eno Benjamin became the first Sun Devil to lead the Pac-12 in rushing with a program-record 1,642 yards. Quarterback Manny Wilkins became the third ASU player with consecutive 3,000-yard passing seasons and all-Pac 12 receiver N’Keal Harry tallied over 1,000 yards receiving.  

As a graduate assistant, Bennett primarily worked with the offensive line and tight ends, who helped pave the way for running back Demario Richard to a 1,000-yard rushing season. While at ASU, Bennett earned his master’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2017.

In addition, Bennett spent two years as an offensive graduate assistant at Rice University from 2014-15, where he worked primarily with the quarterbacks and offensive line. During the 2014 season, the Owls won eight games capped by a win over Fresno State in the Hawai’i Bowl

Bennett was a two-year letterman at SMU as a long snapper, earning all-Conference USA Freshman honors in 2006. He later earned his bachelor’s degree in Advertising from Texas Tech in 2010. The Dallas, Texas native got his first coaching job with Irving High School where he coached the offensive and defensive line and was the assistant wrestling coach. He also coached football, basketball, and track at Scoggins Middle School in Frisco, Texas.

Bennett prepped at Highland Park High School in Dallas, Texas where he was a starter on the Scots’ 15-0 state championship squad in 2005. He served as the team’s long snapper and played on the offensive line, blocking for future Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Bennett and his wife, Stephanie, have a daughter, Scottie.

The Bennett File
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Alma Mater: BA, Texas Tech (2010); MS, Arizona State (2017)
Family: Wife Stephanie; Daughter Scottie

Coaching Experience
2014-15: Rice, Graduate Assistant
2016-17: Arizona State, Graduate Assistant
2018: Arizona State, Offensive Analyst
2019: Arizona Cardinals, Coaching Assistant

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