Head Coach and Director of All Northwest Football
A native of Washington, Blaine Bennett graduated from Walla Walla High School in 1983. He began his collegiate career at the University of Idaho, playing for head coach Dennis Erickson and was part of the Vandals' 1985 Big Sky Conference championship team. He later became a two-year starter at quarterback playing for his father and head coach, Shorty Bennett, at Whitworth College (1986-1987.) He began his college coaching career at Washington State University as a graduate assistant while earning a Master’s degree in Education.
Bennett went on to spend a year as the offensive coordinator at California State University-Chico working with quarterbacks, and one year as the receiver coach at the University of Idaho. He spent six seasons as the head football coach at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon where he was awarded Columbia Football Association Coach of the Year honors after leading the Wolves to a 7-3 overall record, a CFA conference championship, and a trip to the NAIA playoffs with a No. 12 national ranking.
In 2001, Bennett ventured out of the Northwest spending six years as an assistant coach in the Big Ten. As the quarterback coach for Purdue University from 2001-05, he coached former pro-football quarterback Kyle Orton. Orton finished his career ranked second in Purdue history in total offense (9,653 yards) and third in passing yards (9,337) and passing touchdowns (63). Orton was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 2005, and also played for the Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, and Buffalo Bills before retiring in 2015. Bennett also tutored Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter, who was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL draft. In 2006, Bennett became the assistant head coach at Michigan State University, coaching wide receivers. The 2006 Michigan State vs Northwestern football game remains the biggest comeback in NCAA Division-I history. The Spartans rallied to score 38 unanswered points to beat the Wildcats 41-38 after falling behind 38-3.
In January 2008, Bennett returned home to the Northwest as the head football coach for Central Washington University. In five years, he helped guide the team to four Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) championships and the first ever number one NCAA Division II ranking in school history. He received GNAC Coach of the Year honors in 2008, 2009 and 2012, as well as the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Regional Coach of the Year Award in 2009. While at Central Washington, Bennett mentored quarterback Mike Reilly to a runner-up finish in the Harlon Hill Trophy balloting in 2008 as the top Division-II football player in the country. Reilly is currently playing for the Edmonton Eskimos, Grey Cup champions, in the Canadian Football League.
Growing up through the early years of All Northwest Football Camp, Bennett had the unique opportunity to learn from many coaches and professional players. He brings his experience and enthusiasm to the academy, specializing in coaching quarterbacks and wide receivers. He has coached at a variety of levels for over 25 years, recently serving as head football coach for the Graz Giants in the Austrian Football League.
Bennett has been married to his wife Melissa for 29 years, and together they have three children: Blaine John, Brianne, and Matthew.
Purdue Gameday: Kyle Orton and Coach Bennett
2015 Head Coach, Graz Giants, Austria
2008-2013 Head Coach, Central Washington
2006-2007 Assistant Head Coach, Michigan State
2001-2005 QB Coach, Purdue University
1995-2000 Head Coach Western Oregon
1992-1995 O.C. Western Oregon
1991-1992 Receiver Coach, University of Idaho
1990-1991 O.C. Cal-State University, Chico
1988-1990 Graduate Assistant, Washington State
Player: 1985 NCAA I-AA playoffs
Asst. Coach: 1988 Aloha Bowl
2001 Sun Bowl
2002 Sun Bowl
2003 Capital One Bowl
2004 Sun Bowl
Head Coach: 1997 NAIA National Playoffs
2008 NCAA D-II National Playoffs
2009 NCAA D-II Semi-Finals
Ken Stabler, Fred Biletnikoff and a young Blaine Bennett at the 1974 All Northwest Football Camp in Coeur d'Alene, ID.