BOCA RATON, Fla. – Lynn University head women’s lacrosse coach Mindy Richmond has finalized her first-ever coaching staff in Boca Raton with the announcement of two full-time assistant coaches, Joe Tornetta and Rachel Benzing. The Fighting Knights’ sideline will be balanced as Tornetta brings a wealth of coaching knowledge at multiple levels while Benzing is an up-and-coming coach fresh off an accolade-filled playing career.
“I couldn’t be more excited to announce the hiring of these two incredible coaches,” Richmond began. “Not only do they bring a championship mentality, but they also embody the values of Spirit, Service & Strength which are Lynn Athletics’ foundation for success. I am confident that our young ladies will be provided with the best coaching resources and the greatest level of support and motivation possible.”
Tornetta comes to Boca Raton with an extensive coaching resume, spanning nearly 30 years in high school and collegiate women’s lacrosse, wrestling, field hockey, baseball, track and football. Most recently, he spent the past two years as an assistant women’s lacrosse coach at NCAA Division I University of Delaware.
“Coach Tornetta brings a wealth of coaching experience along with a process-based approach to success,” Richmond continued. “His competitive nature, ability to motivate his athletes and his desire to create a positive team culture made him the perfect fit to help guide our new program to success. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to work alongside such a successful and tenured coach and know that his presence will help our program quickly rise in the national ranks.”
Before heading to Delaware, Tornetta was a veteran in the high school coaching ranks of Southeastern Pennsylvania. In girl’s lacrosse, he held a 458-116-14 (.791) record over a 27-year high school coaching career at Great Valley and Owen J. Roberts (Pa.). Tornetta led teams to 11 league championships and two Pennsylvania state titles, was a seven-time Girl’s Lacrosse Coach of the Year recipient and coached 24 All-Americans.
Tornetta is a 1982 graduate of West Chester University, completing a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education degree.
Tornetta’s responsibilities at Lynn will include: Defensive Coordinator, Recruiting Coordinator, Goalkeeper Coach, Compliance Liaison, Campus Visit Coordinator and Game Scouting.
Aside from being a standout NCAA women’s lacrosse player, Benzing has coaching experience with starting a brand new program as she spent the past two years with the inaugural women’s lacrosse team at Maryville University.
“Coach Benzing stood out from the pack with her experience starting a first-year program, her success as a Division II athlete and her competitive drive and maturity,” Richmond added. “She will be an excellent role model for the student-athletes who will look to her for leadership and advice. She is hungry and anxious to progress her young coaching career and will bring great energy and positivity to our first-year team.”
Benzing went to Maryville after graduating from Lindenwood University in 2017. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature with a minor in nutrition. In addition to coaching at Maryville, she joined the team at St. Louis Samurai to help grow girl’s lacrosse in the Midwest.
During her two seasons with the LU Lions, Benzing was a two-time All-American, earning First Team honors in 2017 and Third Team laurels in 2016. She was also named First Team All-South Region in 2017 and Second Team in 2016. Additionally, she earned First Team All-RMAC honors during both seasons and was named the 2017 RMAC Offensive Player of the Year. In 2017, she was honored as an IWLCA Senior All-Star, named to the RMAC All-Academic Team and voted the Lindenwood Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Year.
Prior to Lindenwood, Benzing played Division I lacrosse at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). She tallied a point in every contest she saw playing time in as a freshman, including her first collegiate goal against No. 1 ranked Maryland. As a sophomore, she recorded her first collegiate start against Maryland and finished the season ranked fifth in the America East Conference in assists per game.
Benzing’s responsibilities at Lynn will include: Offensive Coordinator, Camp/Clinic Director, Media, Travel, Game Day & Service Coordinator and Game Scouting.
The Lynn women’s lacrosse team will enter its inaugural season of competition in spring 2020.