The Press Release on Coach Benton
Russellville High School is proud to announce the hiring of Coach Mikie Benton as the new RHS Panther Head Football Coach.
Coach Benton takes over the Russellville Panther football program as just the fourth Panther Head Football Coach since 1976. Coach Benton is a 2008 graduate of Russellville High School where he was a multi-sport athlete. Coach Benton has worked on the Russellville Panther coaching staff for the past five seasons under former Head Coach, John Myers serving as the team’s Defensive Coordinator this past season. Coach Benton is a 2012 Graduate of the University of Kentucky where he played football for the Cats. Coach Benton is currently an Exceptional Education teacher for the Russellville Independent School District.
Coach Benton was selected by an interview committee made up of members of the administration, several members of the community and a member of the school’s SBDM. The committee took particular note of Coach Benton’s strong ties to the Russellville community, his success as an assistant coach for the Panthers, and his commitment to the ideals of excellence held by the Russellville football program. Coach Benton takes over a team that returns multiple starters on offense and defense.
Coach Benton takes over for John Myers who led the Panthers for the past fourteen seasons, rebuilding the proud program into the image of Coach Ken Barrett’s Panthers that won three State Championships in 1980, 1983, and 1990. Under Coach Myers, the Panthers won the Class A Regional Championship in 2015 and 2016.
Coach Benton played Football, Basketball, and ran track at Russellville. During his time playing football for the Panthers he was selected as an All State Defensive Back and played in the 2008 KY All Star Game. Coach Benton excelled in basketball as well as on the track where in 2007 and 2008 he was the KY State 110 Meter Hurdles Champion.
Following his successful career as a Russellville Panther, Coach Benton moved on to the University of Kentucky where he played football and started at Free Safety for the Wildcats in 2011 and 2012. Coach Benton graduated from UK with a degree in Ag. Business and is currently pursuing a Masters in Exceptional Education.
On being hired as the new Panther Head Football Coach, Coach Benton had this to say: “I feel honored to be the next Head football Coach at Russellville. I was born and raised in this community and I’ve spent all my life watching, dreaming about, playing, and coaching Russellville football. To now take this next step in being a part of this tradition is a bit surreal. The success we’ve had in recent years is something I plan to build on and push a step further. Words cannot even express how excited I am to get to work.”
Athletic Director Kyle Yates on the hiring of Coach Benton: “We have made a commitment to hire Russellville people to coach at Russellville. This year alone, we have hired alumni who are teachers in our system to coach Baseball, Softball, and now Football. Coach Benton is another step in the direction that we want to head. We are a special school and a special community in the ways in which we value excellence and tradition. This is a school, town, and alumni base that expects to be the best. Coach Benton embodies all of the best of what is Russellville. We are lucky to have a man of such high character to lead our program.”