Head basketball coach at Michigan State (1966-1969). Benington was captain of the 1949 NIT Champion University of San Francisco. In 13 years of coaching, Benington’s teams scored 195 victories against 137 losses. His St. Louis U. teams won 118 and lost 71 in seven seasons, 1958-65, and went to the National Invitation Tournament five times. His Michigan State teams won 56 and lost 38. He was the brother of Jo Ann Davidson. Born in Findlay.
(b. 1921 – d. 1969: basketball coach)
Obituary – St. Louis Post Dispatch (September 11, 1969)
EAST LANSING, Mich., Sept. 11 – John Benington, former basketball coach at St. Louis University, died of a massive heart attack yesterday at Michigan State University, where he had coached for the last four seasons. He was 47 years old.
He was found dead on the floor of the coaches’ locker room at Jenison Gymnasium by his wife, Barbara, and assistant coach Bob Nordmann. Mrs. Benington became worried when her husband failed to arrive at home for supper.
Dr. James Feurig, team physician, diagnosed the cause of death as a massive heart attack – Benington’s second in five months.
Survivors include his wife, five sons and four daughters.
In 13 years of coaching, Benington’s teams scored 195 victories against 137 losses. His St. Louis U. teams won 118 and lost 71 in seven seasons, 1958-65, and went to the National Invitation Tournament five times. His Michigan State teams won 56 and lost 38.
Benington began his coaching career in 1950, the first of five years as assistant coach at Michigan State. He coached first under his former San Francisco U. coach Pete Newell, and then under Forddy Anderson, the man he eventually succeeded in 1965.
He became head coach in 1956 at Drake University, where his teams won 21 and lost 28.
Benington was graduated from high school in 1940 in Findlay, O., where he was born. After military service in World War II, he went to the University of San Francisco on an athletic scholarship.
He played two seasons of varsity basketball at San Francisco U., becoming team captain and helping the Dons to the NIT championship in 1949.
The body is at the Gorshilman-Runciman undertaking establishment in East Lansing. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in East Lansing. Burial will be in Findlay.