Benkert leaves Westlake to reunite with Redell at Oaks Christian

Two titans in CIF Southern Section coaching are reuniting.

Longtime Westlake head coach Jim Benkert is the new associate head coach at Oaks Christian with Bill Redell as first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

A press conference is scheduled for Thursday at Oaks Christian.

"We’ll be co-head coaches which, quite frankly, normally doesn’t work," Redell said. "(But) I think it will keep me in the game a lot longer coaching the team together.

"If we lose a game, I’ll give him the credit. If we win, I will take the credit. That’s the advantage of being 73 (years old) and him 56 (years old). That’s the way it goes." 

Benkert and Redell have 12 CIF Southern Section titles combined as head coaches.

One of those titles by Redell was won with Benkert as his offensive coordinator on the historic 1986 Crespi squad that became the first, and only, Valley school to win a CIF Southern Section crown in the largest division.

Benkert leaves Westlake after 26 years at the helm. He is the school’s all-time winningest head coach with 226 career wins. He guided Westlake to CIF crowns in 1999, 2003, 2009, and 2011 while leading the Warriors to their only state bowl appearance.

He won’t have to travel far to join his friend of 32 years, with the schools being practically across the street from each other.

The 73-year-old Redell will be entering the second year of his second stint as Oaks Christian’s head coach.

The Lions finished the 2014 season 5-5 and missed the playoffs for the first time in school history.

Benkert, who has groomed plenty of quarterbacks in his career, will now have the opportunity to work with promising Oaks signal caller Matt Corral, who started last season as a freshman.  

As for what he leaves behind, the Warriors three-headed monster of quarterback Malik Henry, running back Chase Jasmin, and wide receiver Theo Howard were all set to return for Westlake in 2015. However, things could change now with Benkert no longer at the helm.