Tenosha Bennett moves in as Del Norte High’s new girls basketball coach

Tenosha Bennett moves in as Del Norte High’s new girls basketball coach


Tenosha Bennett grew up in a small town in Wisconsin.

When the time came for a life-changing decision, she opted to leave her comfort zone behind to come to San Diego.

Basketball, even in the big city, was still her emphasis.

“I kind of felt I’d outgrown Wisconsin,” the 35-year-old Bennett said. “I loved Wisconsin and the Midwest attitude, so I couldn’t imagine ever coming out here. Now I can’t imagine ever going back to Wisconsin.”

Bennett, a former point guard at Kenosha Bradford High back in 2005, has taken the reins of the girls basketball program at Del Norte High.

She replaced Melissa Peng, who returned to alma mater Westview after guiding Del Norte to the San Diego Section Division I championship this past season.

Five seniors graduated off the Nighthawks’ title club, including two starters.

Tenosha Bennett, a former point guard at Kenosha Bradford High, is the new girls basketball coach at Del Norte High.

Tenosha Bennett, 35, a former point guard at Kenosha Bradford High in 2005, has taken the reins of the girls basketball program at Del Norte High.

(Steve Compos)

“I thought this would be the perfect basketball job for me,” Bennett said. “I want to elevate the program even more than it already is.

“The foundation at Del Norte is just fine. It felt so good at Del Norte, I couldn’t turn down the offer.”

Del Norte finished second to Mission Hills in the Palomar League before finishing off a title run with a 22-11 overall record.

“They said they were excited to turn over the keys to the kingdom to me,” Bennett said. “I did not inherit a 0-20 team. The girls know what success now looks like.

“When you win a CIF title like they did last year, there’s more to accomplish at that school.” she said.

Bennett coached at Santa Fe Christian for more than three seasons as an assistant, one season as an assistant at San Diego Christian College and with the San Diego Sol travel team during her stay in San Diego.

She played collegiately at Wisconsin-Whitewater and one of her first coaching assignments was as an assistant coach at Whitewater High, which claimed a state title in 2015.

Coaching, it turns out, has been in her system for a long time.

At age 16, she coached a girls team of middle schoolers at the YMCA.

“They soaked up any info I gave them like sponges,” Bennett said. “I realized that year that some day I wanted to coach. At least I wanted the rest of my life to resolve around sports.”

Bennett recalled a game from her early days of coaching where her team trailed by eight points with 30 seconds to play.

Her team got a turnover and scored, got a steal and another score and trailed by three points with five seconds to go with the other team at the free-throw line.

In the last second, her team hit a long 3-pointer from the corner that caromed off the backboard and in to tie the game.

“We won the game in OT,” Bennett said. “They got the lesson. They were listening the whole way.

“It was such a beautiful feeling for the coach to see that happen. It takes a special person to bring a team together on the same page to work like a symphony.”

Bennett earned her Master’s of Education degree in athletic administration to go with her bachelor’s psychology with a minor in coaching.

Bennett’s 9-year-old daughter Nissi is also a basketball player with Sol.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.