The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame class announced last week includes retired Centralia football coach Erle Bennett, who guided the Panthers from 1994-2016. Bennett shares how he reacted to the induction notice.
Bennett recorded 206 career wins, including 200 at Centralia after a stint at Worth County. The 10-time Clarence Cannon Conference Coach of the Year reflects on Centralia’s 2003 state championship.
Bennett’s Centralia team defeated Lawson in 2003 after a runner-up finish in 2002. The Panthers later managed 70 straight regular season wins from 2005-2012.
Bennett notes Centralia struggled when he arrived as an assistant in 1989.
The nine-time Clarence Cannon Conference champion reveals another key to the Centralia rebuild.
The next Missouri Sports Hall of Fame banquet and induction program will be November 3rd at 1pm at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Springfield. Bennett’s offensive coordinator Jim Newsted accepted the head job when Bennett retired, and the Panthers are 6-0 this year. Hear Bennett’s full interview on the Chariton Valley Magic City Sports Talk page in the sports section of centralmoinfo.com.
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