The man who took the helm for LSU when Will Wade was benched will get to keep his purple ties, with Jon Rothstein reporting that Jamie Dixon and TCU Basketball has hired Tony Benford to fill its final bench spot.
Sources: TCU's Jamie Dixon will hire LSU's Tony Benford as an assistant coach. Joins Ryan Miller and Duane Broussard on staff.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 24, 2019
Benford played college basketball at Texas Tech, where the guard helped lead the Red Raiders to a SWC title. Though he was drafted by the Boston Celtics, in the fourth round, Benford never played professionally stateside, though he did play in the Dutch Basketball League before turning to coaching. Fun fact - he was a pretty good player!
ESPN ranked all 68 NCAA tournament coaches as players. Benford, a 6-foot-4 guard, was 8th. He earned All-Southwest Conference honors in 1985-86, leading the Red Raiders with 14.4 points per game, once drilling three straight game-winning shots in an eight-day span against Houston, Arkansas and Rice.
Benford got his start with the New Mexico Lobos, returning to the state where he grew up. He matriculated through several stops - Arizona State, Nebraska, and Marquette - rising to Associate Head Coach with the Golden Eagles under Buzz Williams. His first head coaching position was locally, as he led North Texas for five seasons, going 62-95 across his tenure. After being let go by the Mean Green, he joined Wade’s staff at LSU, leading the Tigers to the Sweet 16 after compiling a 3-2 record overall.
Benford joins Duane Broussard as new hires this off season, replacing Scott Cross, who took the head coaching position at Troy, and Corey Barker, who was dismissed as part of the FBI’s investigation into college basketball. The Frogs have faced major upheaval across all areas in 2019, and may have a few more roster spots to fill with Kouat Noi declaring his intentions to go pro and both Desmond Bane and Kevin Samuel making themselves eligible for the NBA Draft - though both are expected to return to school. Benford is a great recruiter, having helped the Tigers land a top five class in his first year on the trail. He has also collected multiple awards for being recognized as a top assistant.
Tony, his wife, and their four children will make a great addition to TCU Basketball. Welcome to the Frog fam!