Updated December 20, 2016
Now entering his 11th season as the Blue Jays’ offensive coordinator is Bobby Benson, who returned to direct the Blue Jay offense prior to the 2007 season and promptly helped guide JHU to its second national championship in three years. He mentored First Team All-American midfielder and Tewaaraton finalist Paul Rabil and three other All-Americans in midfielder Stephen Peyser (3rd Team) and attackmen Jake Byrne (HM) and Steven Boyle (HM).
After spending half of the 2007 season adjusting to Benson’s offensive philosophy, the Blue Jays improved their production by nearly 1.5 goals per game during a season-ending nine-game winning streak that culminated in the national championship. The Blue Jays averaged less than 10 goals per game during a 4-4 start, but bumped that production up to 11 goals per game during the winning streak. Hopkins tied for ninth in the nation in extra-man offense and 15th in scoring offense.
The Blue Jays rode a steady, efficient offense to the 2008 national championship game as they finished 12th in the nation in scoring offense and eighth in extra-man offense. Three offensive players (Rabil-1st, Peyser-2nd, Kevin Huntley-3rd) earned All-America honors and Hopkins scored 10 or more goals 13 times in 17 games, including eight times in the final nine games of the season.
Despite a youth-filled offense, the 2009 squad ranked eighth in the nation in scoring offense (11.53) and extra-man offense (.435) and fourth in assists (7.2). It was also the first time since 2005 that Hopkins averaged better than 11 goals per game.
Another young group spearheaded JHU’s offense in 2011. The Blue Jays finished 11th in the nation in scoring offense (11.25) with a unit that consisted of just one senior on the starting attack and first midfield.
With a mix of veterans and young players, Benson revamped the way the Blue Jays play offense in 2014 and the results were immediate and obvious. Hopkins averaged 12.1 goals per game, produced three All-Americans and was deadly in extra-man situations as the Blue Jays converted 30-of-55 (.545) chances on the year.
The success of 2014 carried over to 2015 as Benson’s offense averaged 13.0 goals per game and produced three All-Americans in Ryan Brown (2nd Team), Joel Tinney (3rd) and Wells Stanwick (HM). Brown set a school record with 61 goals and Stanwick graduated as the second most prolific assist man in JHU history (124).
Benson’s offense was depleted by injuries in 2016, but still managed to average 12.3 goals per game and produced three All-Americans in Brown (2nd Team), Shack Stanwick (HM) and John Crawley (HM). Despite the heavy personnel losses, the Blue Jays finished 12th in the nation in scoring offense and seventh in extra-man offense (.481).
Benson has coached a total of 28 All-Americans since returning to Hopkins in 2007. In addition, Brown and Wells Stanwick earned First Team All-Big Ten honors and Brown was tabbed the league’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2015.
Three more Blue Jays - Brown, Shack Stanwick and Crawley - earned All-Big Ten honors in 2016 with Brown and Stanwick grabbing first team honors and Crawley landing an honorable mention nod.
Benson, a 2003 Johns Hopkins graduate, returned to Homewood after coaching stints at nearby UMBC and Loyola. He served as the offensive coordinator at UMBC in 2004 and 2005 and helped the Retrievers rank among the national leaders in extra-man offense. He moved to Loyola in 2006 and the Greyhounds promptly led the nation in extra-man offense with 24 goals on 43 attempts (.558).
A three-time All-American during his career at Hopkins (2000-03), Benson finished his career at Homewood ranked sixth all-time in goals scored (124) and 14th in career points (167). He is one of just two players in school history to lead the team in goals four straight years and helped the Blue Jays to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, three trips to the final four and one national runner-up finish (2003). He played his final three seasons at Johns Hopkins under Pietramala and fueled a unit that led the nation in scoring and extra-man offense during his senior year.
Benson and his wife, Taylor, reside in nearby Cockeysville with their two young sons, Tucker and Griffin.