Emeritus, In Memoriam
The distinguished life story of Carl Webber Benton is detailed in his obituary below, so only a brief summary of his accomplishments at San Diego State will be presented.
Carl was appointed to the faculty in 1948 and served for a remarkable 35 years.
He was both teacher and coach. He served as Freshman Baseball Coach and Assistant Football Coach. He taught in the physical activity program and also served as supervisor of student teachers, which helped pave the way for their teaching careers. Also, Carl was called on to serve as Department Chair of Physical Education for Men in 1958-59.
Carl was promoted to the rank of Professor during his tenure. Upon retirement in 1983, he was given the status of Professor Emeritus of Physical Education.
Carl married Darlene Laughery on 11 Jun 1950 in San Diego, Ca. They had two daughters: Kelli and Lori.
In retirement, Carl remained active in the San Diego community. Among his contributions was serving as President of the Sports Association of San Diego County (1984-88) and founding (in 1989) the San Diego County High School Coaches Association.
Carl passed away at age 91 on 13 August 2013 in Boise, Idaho.
Carl “Coach” Benton
1921 ~ 2013
Carl Webber Benton “Coach,” born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, passed away at age 91 on Thursday, June 20, 2013, in Boise, Idaho. He was a true Southern Gentleman to the end. The coach was a personable, soft-spoken Southerner who was greatly admired by his family, colleagues, students, and fellow athletes. As a dedicated, generous, family-focused man, he lit up the room with his charismatic personality, sense of humor, love of sports, and descriptive story-telling.
Carl was born to Felix and Mary Benton on August 13, 1921. As a student at Mobile’s Murphy High School (1937-1940), Carl lettered in football, basketball, track and baseball. He was selected to the All-City team in football and basketball and made the All-State basketball team.
Carl attended Northwestern Louisiana State, transferred to Southwestern Louisiana, then attended UCLA in 1946 after serving with the US Marine Corps during World War II. At UCLA, he was a quarterback and defensive back and played in the Rose Bowl. He also made All-Star in 1947 and played in the Hula Bowl game where he was elected team captain, threw five touchdowns, and was voted the MVP. Carl also competed for UCLA in discus and pole vaulting during the NCAA Track & Field Championship in 1947.
After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree, Carl started coaching football and basketball for San Diego State University in 1948. He later earned his Master’s Degree and Doctorate in Education. In addition to his WWII service, Carl also served with the US Marine Corps in the Korean War, earning Honorable Separation from Active Service after five years and another 22 years in the Reserves. Carl retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1981.
In 1983, Carl was appointed to the National Faculty of the United States Sports Academy and later inducted into the Mobile, Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. Carl retired from San Diego State after 35 years and continued to teach as an adjunct professor through 2002.
Carl often said the greatest thing that ever happened was his marriage to Darlene “Dee Dee” Laughery in June 1950. He loved to share stories about Dee Dee’s accomplishments as a National Baton Twirling Champion, Head Majorette at SDSU, and twirler for the LA Rams. Most importantly, Carl and Dee Dee shared 60 years of love, marriage, and family. He was thoroughly devoted to and so very proud of daughters Kelli and Lori, and grandson Ryan.
An avid athlete and sports fan, Coach always delighted in the achievements of his family and encouraged their personal successes and athleticism as their biggest supporter. Carl and Dee Dee moved from San Diego to Boise in 2004, and he was thrilled to welcome Ryan’s wife Debbie into the family in 2007. Carl was happy to be near his family again, and in Boise cultivated a love of the Boise State University Broncos – he thoroughly enjoyed meeting Coach Pete and the football team. Carl meant the world to Dee Dee, Kelli, Lori, and Ryan, and is fondly remembered as a loving husband, father, and grandfather.
Carl was preceded in death by his parents, Felix and Mary; stepmother, Elizabeth; brothers, Jack and Dick; sisters, Alice and Ellen; and beloved wife, Dee Dee Benton. He is survived by his sister, Betty Chenoweth; daughters, Kelli Hall and Lori Benton; and grandson, Ryan Hall and his wife, Debbie.
A military memorial service celebrating and remembering Coach will be held at 3:00 pm, Monday, July 8, 2013, at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the home of Kelli Hall; for location, date and time, please visit Coach’s memorial webpage at www.summersfuneral.com.