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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Heather Benning named MWC Executive Director

Heather Benning ’96 was named the Executive Director of the Midwest Conference last week. Her passion for the conference, academic and athletic success and her dedication to students’ wellbeing led to this selection. Benning replaces Chris Graham, the first full-time Executive Director of the MWC, who left after 14 years of service. Benning began her post Monday, March 3.

Benning’s hire will move the MWC office to Grinnell from its previous location in Ripon, Wisc., where it had been housed for 14 years. The Conference hopes that this move will bring new contacts and friends to Grinnell.

As the Executive Director, Benning is responsible for all operations involving collegiate athletics within the 11 members of MWC. This includes conference meetings, legislation, budgeting, marketing, education, eligibility, sportsmanship, championships, scheduling, awards and office management.

Prior to her hire, Benning worked as Grinnell’s Assistant Athletic Director, Associate Professor of Physical Education, Senior Woman Administrator, women’s soccer head coach and Coordinator for Title IX in Athletics.

She began her coaching career in 1995 as an assistant soccer coach at Grinnell and later became the head coach in 1998. Benning has coached the Pioneers to five MWC championships and to four NCAA Tournaments. She established the school record for career wins with 167 and compiled a record of 107-31-8 in MWC play.

Within the MWC, Benning has been involved at all levels of participation.  She has served as the MWC Oversight, Nominating, Awards and Women’s Soccer Committees as an athletic representative for Grinnell. Nationally, she serves on the NCAA Division III Membership Committee and as a member of the Division III Virtual Focus Group for the future of Division III.

Benning graduated from Grinnell in 1996 with a degree in history. She went on to get a Master’s in sports psychology and sports management at the University of Iowa in 1998.

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