The 2019 season will mark head coach Paul Benim’s 27th season at Penn State Behrend and his 24th at the helm of the baseball program. Over the past 11 seasons, the Lions have posted 321 wins while earning an AMCC-best 149 victories.
Benim has established the Behrend Lions as one of the best programs in the Mid-Atlantic Region, earning regional and national attention. In the thirteen years prior to taking over, the program had won only 24 percent of its contests. During Benim's tenure, the program has earned victories in 64 percent of its games, with nearly every school record being broken. The program has made the conference tournament 16 times, won three regular season and five conference tournament titles, and finished runner-up seven times. Benim, the all-time leader in baseball coaching victories at Behrend, is 609-349-4 during 26 seasons and posts a career head coach mark of 691-386-4.
Last year, the Lions battled in the AMCC Semifinals and finished in third place.
The 2014 season was monumental for Benim. The veteran coach earned his 500th career victory en route to the Lions winning their fourth ECAC South Region Title under his direction. Behrend finished with a 30-14 overall record and a 13-3 mark in the AMCC. Five players were named All-AMCC and one earned a spot on the ECAC All-Star Team. In 2013, Benim guided Behrend to its fifth AMCC Championship and fourth overall trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Lions finished with a 30-12 record, including an impressive 15-1 mark in conference play. Coach Benim earned his fifth AMCC Coach of the Year honor, while mentoring six All-AMCC players, two All-Region and one ECAC All-Star.
In 2010, the Lions won their third straight conference championship, a feat no other conference team has accomplished. Behrend not only advanced to the NCAA Championships, but won its first-ever game, an upset over No. 4 Wooster. The Lions finished the year 31-17 and were ranked No. 25 in the nation by D3baseball.com, finishing second in walks and ninth in steals. Seven players were tabbed to the All-Conference team and one Behrend player was named the AMCC Player of the Year.
The 2009 Behrend Lions were expected to excel and they did just that. The squad won the AMCC regular season and conference tournament titles while advancing on to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season. Behrend registered a 31-13 mark and had three players earn ABCA-Rawlings All-Region honors, three make the ECAC South All-Star squad and two were selected as the Pitcher and Player of the Year. The program also boasted its fifth AMCC Player of the Year and for the second straight season; Behrend snagged the AMCC Pitcher of the Year honor as well.
Prior to becoming head baseball coach, Benim served Penn State Behrend as the head softball coach for three seasons. He guided the team to 82 wins and three straight postseason appearances and a national ranking. In 1993, Benim led the team to an impressive 29-6 record while capturing the ECAC Championship. In the fall of 1998, this team was recognized as one of the ten best ever at the college.
In addition to running the highly successful Behrend baseball clinics series and summer camps, Benim has worked at camps at Bucknell, Clemson, Lehigh, Slippery Rock, Youngstown State, and for Ripken Baseball. He also served on the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Committee and the ECAC Southern Region Baseball Committee. Benim currently serves on the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee.
He has been inducted into the Wesleyville, Iroquois, Lawrence Park Hall of Fame (2011) and the Penn State State Behrend Athletics Hall of Fame (2013).
Benim earned his bachelor's degree from Penn State Behrend in business and behavioral sciences and his master's degree in counseling from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.