Legendary Westlake volleyball coach inducted into hall of fame

Former varsity volleyball head coach Al Bennett was inducted into the Texas State Girls Volleyball Coaches Hall of Fame, Monday July 9 in Arlington. Bennett finished his career with 1007 wins, the fourth most wins for a coach in Texas high school girls volleyball history.

When Bennett started his career coaching for St. Austin’s high school in 1979, the school had never even had a girls’ athletic program before Bennett was hired and began coaching volleyball and teaching physical education. Bennett coached there for five years before becoming a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Texas. After he won a national title in 1988, Bennett accepted the head coaching job at Westlake and coached the varsity girls team in its inaugural season.

In March of 2015, Bennett experienced two strokes within the span of five days which put his career in major jeopardy. Despite this, he continued coaching into the fall and recovered to coach another three years. He secured his 1000th win as a coach in 2017, and the Chaps made it to Area in the playoffs before losing to now-third-ranked 6A school San Antonio O’Connor.

Bennett had a tremendous impact on Westlake volleyball ever since his arrival. He won all four of Westlake’s State Championships (1991, 1993, 2002, 2004) in his time as a coach. He created a culture of success that was unique to him, and his legacy was recognized with his induction.