Cody Bench Steps Down As Alaska Women's Hoop Coach
Before her coaching career in Fairbanks, Cody Bench was a four-year standout performer for the Nanooks as a player.
Before her coaching career in Fairbanks, Cody Bench was a four-year standout performer for the Nanooks as a player.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
by Alaska Athletic Communications

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – After seven seasons as head coach for the Alaska Nanooks women's basketball team, Cody Bench has resigned from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Athletic Department on Tuesday, Mar. 7. Bench's last official day will be Mar. 17.

"I am grateful to Dr. Gary Gray and the university for their many opportunities to build this women's basketball program," Bench said. "We had many successes throughout these past seven seasons, for which I am very proud of. I am thankful to the Fairbanks basketball community for their support, as well. I am leaving UAF with many fond memories."

Bench was named the 11th head coach in Alaska women's basketball history prior to the 2010-11 season and concludes her time with the Nanooks with a 53-130 overall record. Bench leaves the Alaska Nanooks women's basketball team after being one of the most prolific individuals in program history, being both a head coach and a player for the Nanooks from 2002-05.

"Coach Bench has been a great Nanook since she played for us a few years back," Gray said. "She has made great strides with our women's basketball program and we will miss her. Cody has put her heart and soul into this program and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors."

After going 1-24 and 6-22 in her first two seasons as bench boss, Bench made strides every year as head coach. In the 2012-13 season, Bench went 5-21 before improving to 9-17 in the 2013-14 season. Alaska went .500 in the 2014-15 season going 14-14 before falling to 12-18 in the 2015-16 season.

At the conclusion of this season, the Nanooks went 13-14 overall and 9-11 in conference play, barely missing a trip to the GNAC Championships for the first time in program history after losing a four-way tie for the sixth and final position in the tournament.

Following the 2016-17 season, the Alaska Nanooks women's basketball team posted double-digit wins for their third-straight season (2014-17), recorded a winning home record for two-straight seasons (2015-17) and their nine conference wins this past year marks the most GNAC victories for the Nanooks in 12 seasons.

Bench led two CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, four All-GNAC selections and six All-GNAC Academic Team honorees.

One of Bench's most notable recruits, senior Jordan Wilson, will go down as one of the most distinguished players in recent history, concluding her four-year career an All-GNAC First Team (2016-17), Second Team (2015-16) and Honorable Mention (2013-14) selection and was also named the GNAC's Freshman of the Year (2013-14). Wilson finished her senior season this year as a CoSIDA Academic All-American First Team honoree while also ranking third on the program's All-Time Leading Scorer's list with over 1,700 career points.

Bench was named to the All-GNAC Second Team in 2003 and 2005 and led the GNAC in scoring throughout both of those seasons. Bench was named the captain for the Blue and Gold in 2004-05 and still continues to holds career records within the GNAC. Bench received her Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management, Forestry option from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and earned a Master's in Education in Athletic Administration at William Woods University.