Assistant Coach Aaron Benning is in his fourth season with the Georgia volleyball program in 2020. Benning joined the Georgia staff in January 2017 as an assistant coach while also heading up recruiting efforts for the Bulldogs.
Georgia’s serving game continued to flourish under Benning’s tutelage in 2019, finishing in the top three in the SEC for the third-straight season. Georgia concluded the season with a 1.47 aces per set average. Brynn Chandler ranked fifth in the league with 0.31 aces per set. Chandler and Kacie Evans each tallied more than 30 total aces in 2019.
The Bulldogs appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2019 for the first time since 2013. It was the second time Georgia eclipsed the 20-win mark, finishing 20-10. The last time Georgia had a pair of 20-win seasons in three years was 1995 and 1997.
In his first two seasons with the Georgia staff, Benning has coached the service game to ranking in the top three in the SEC in back-to-back campaigns. Georgia led the SEC in 2017 with 1.57 aces per set, finishing 25th in the country. In 2018, the Bulldogs ranked third in the conference with a 1.48 clip.
The 2017 and 2018 seasons saw Georgia finish above the .500 mark in both seasons, the first time since 2008 and 2009. In 2017, Benning’s first season, the Bulldogs made a jump of 132 places in RPI from the previous season to 57.
Benning previously served in the same capacity for three seasons at Loyola Marymount under Tom Black. Prior to LMU, Benning served as the Director of Sports for City Beach Volleyball Club since 2004, and spent a total of seven years, including three as head women’s volleyball coach, at Ohlone College.
While at LMU, Benning helped the Lions to two NCAA appearances, including a trip to the Sweet 16 after upsetting nationally-ranked Colorado State and Stanford in Palo Alto. In addition to LMU’s NCAA showings, Benning assisted in notching a pair of 20-win seasons. The 24 wins LMU recorded in 2015 were the most for the program since collecting 26 in 2003. That same season LMU also finished third in the West Coast Conference, another best for the team since 2003. Benning saw LMU roll in accolades during his three years, including four AVCA All-America selections, six AVCA All-Region picks, an AVCA Region Freshman of the Year and 11 All-Conference honorees along with the Defensive Player of the Year in 2016.
Benning helped City Beach win nine Junior National Medals and over 180 Regional and National Tournaments. Consistently one of the top-25 volleyball clubs in the nation, Benning guided over 155 of his City Beach players into collegiate volleyball programs since 2006. In addition to coaching, Benning was responsible for many of the management and executive functions.
At the high school level, Benning coached numerous successful Bay Area programs. Working as a high school and juniors coach, he maintained a .710 winning percentage over nine seasons. Benning also served as a Lead Camp Coach and a member of the Coaching Clinic Staff for Gold Medal Squared since May 2007. Prior, Benning was the head coach of Ohlone College from 1998-2005.
Benning, a graduate of Yerba Buena High School in San Jose, California, earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreational Management from Cal State East Bay in 2014.
David Dantes joined the Georgia volleyball staff in 2017, fulfilling the role of Director of Volleyball Operations.
Dantes comes to Athens following a six-year stint at the University of California as the Golden Bears' Director of Operations. He served as Volunteer Coach during the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
The East Bay, California native added professional experience to his resume when he served on the technical support team for the USA Men's National Team at the 2016 Rio Olympics. His responsibilities included a vast knowledge of statistical and video work during the Olympics.
Dantes' second stint in Berkeley came by way of New Haven, Connecticut, where he was an assistant coach for the Yale volleyball program under head coach Erin Appleman. With his help, the Bulldogs finished 2010 with a share of the Ivy League championship, a 12-2 conference record, and an 18-8 overall mark. Dantes served one season as a volunteer assistant in 2009 before he was promoted to a full-time position.
While serving as a volunteer, he was also the head coach of the Yale women's club volleyball team. The club secured its first league title by winning the Northeast Women's League (NWVCL) championship. Dantes' guidance saw the Bulldogs to their first appearance in the NCVF (National Club Volleyball Federation) Division II National Championship tournament where they captured the national title.
During his two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach at Cal, the Golden Bears made history with their first finish as an NCAA semifinalist. The 2007 squad finished ranked No. 4 in the nation during his first season at Berkeley. In 2008, the team earned a No. 6 finish, and reached the regional finals of the NCAA tournament for just the second time in school history.
Dantes earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, with a minor in religion, from Boston University in May 2007. He competed for the Terriers' men's club volleyball team.
Brandon Row comes to the University of Georgia as the volunteer assistant coach, beginning in the Spring of 2019. Row will assist with the Bulldogs’ defense systems and serving.
Row joins the Georgia staff from Carson-Newman in Knoxville where he served as an assistant coach for three seasons. During his time on the Eagles’ staff, Row operated Data Volley to provide strategic analysis to scout opponents and develop real-time match plans. Row was in charge of developing scout files for opponents and assisted players with film study and fundamental breakdown. He worked with the middle blockers and led Carson-Newman's community outreach for the volleyball program.
He graduated from Carson-Newman in 2016 and earned his graduate degree in education in May 2019.
Outside of his role for the Eagles, Row worked with club teams in Knoxville, volleyball camps, and community leagues across East Tennessee.