Bennett lives in Sparks, with his wife, Jasmine, and two sons, 10th grader Jawon and fourth grader Kaiden. Bennett is a longtime business owner in Sparks and joined the staff at Hug High School earlier this year working as an interventionist supporting at-risk ninth grade students and families.
Bennett has been part of the Hug football program for the past six years in various assistant roles, most recently as a varsity assistant during the 2010-11 season.
Former athletic director and assistant coach Brad Bodine said, “As a football coach at Hug for the past 21 years, I’m excited to see someone with the commitment and energy that Derek has to take this program to where it should be.”
In addition to his work at Hug, Bennett started the Sierra Youth Football League (SYFL) in northern Nevada in 1999 and has been a key member in sustaining youth football in many communities throughout Northern Nevada.
A committee of staff members, parents, student athletes and school administrators interviewed candidates from three states in making the unanimous decision to name Bennett as the leader of the Hug football program. A student on the committee said, “He’s the right person to lead our program. He’s part of the ‘Hug family’ and knows what it will take to help us get to the next level.”
The words used to describe Bennett by committee members were, “committed, authentic, dedicated, great, full of love, dynamic, innovative, family, ready and hungry.”