Aug. 9, 2005
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - University of New Mexico head track and field coach Matt Henry announced today that Keren Bentzur has been named assistant track and field coach. Bentzur, a two-time Israeli national long jump champion, served as a volunteer coach at UNM in 2005 and was a 10-time all-Mountain West Conference honoree under Henry from 2001-03. She replaces former assistant coach Lori Nolte.
"As a competitor Keren was very aggressive and was never afraid to say or do whatever was necessary to help make our program better," Henry said. "I'm really proud that we have a University of New Mexico graduate that knows our program and is committed to helping us succeed. She's very knowledgeable about track and field and I think once our community gets to know her, they'll realize what a outstanding heptathlon and jumps coach we have here."
A native of Beer-Sheva, Israel, Bentzur was named one of the top international newcomers in NCAA Division I when she transferred to New Mexico from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem following the 1999-2000 school year. The multi-event standout earned athletic and academic all-conference honors in each of her three years at UNM, and competed at the NCAA Outdoor Championship meet in 2002 and 2003.
Bentzur turned in one of the greatest conference championship performances in school history as a senior, earning the MWC High Point Award at the indoor meet with 30 points in the pentathlon, long jump, triple jump and high jump. She was also the first UNM woman to win two events in one year at an indoor conference meet, taking the pentathlon and long jump that year. Bentzur still holds indoor school records in the long jump (19-11.00) and pentathlon (3,845 points).
In 2002, she finished one spot shy of All-America honors, placing ninth in the heptathlon at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Her career-best heptathlon score of 5,371, set in 2002, was just 48 points shy of the Lobo record. Bentzur also owns the top outdoor long jump (20-03.00) and indoor high jump (5-07.25) marks recording during in Henry's five-year tenure.
Bentzur is the latest UNM graduate to join the Lobo track and field coaching staff, joining head coach Matt Henry (1975), associate head coach Mark Henry (1974) and assistant coach Scott Steffan (1991). Volunteer distance coach Kelly Dunbar (1995) and volunteer throws coach Matt Kraft (2002) are also University of New Mexico products.
"I'm definitely proud to be a UNM graduate and I think I can contribute a lot to this program," Bentzur said. "I really enjoyed being part of the team while I was competing here and I thought the past year I spent working with the athletes was very rewarding. I love coaching and I'm looking forward to further developing the chemistry between myself and our athletes. I want people to enjoy coming to practice, competing and always working to improve their results. If we can do that, we're going to continue to get better each year."
Bentzur earned her B.S. in Nutrition from UNM in 2002 and received her master's in Exercise Physiology, also from UNM, in July of 2005. The former Keren Sari married husband Rotem Bentzur in 2001. The couple has a 1-year-old son Noam.
Keren Bentzur FILEBorn: Dec. 5, 1977 in Beer-Sheva, Israel
Family: Husband, Rotem (Computer Science graduate student at UNM). Son, Noam (1)
Education: B.S. in Nutrition (New Mexico, `02). Master's in Exercise Physiology (New Mexico, `05)
Coaching Background: UNM volunteer assistant track and field coach in 2004-05
Two-time Israeli national long jump champion
Three-year letterwinner in track & field at the University of New Mexico
Ten-time all-Mountain West Conference honoree
- Indoor long jump (`01, `02, `03)
- Indoor pentathlon (`01, `02, `03)
- Indoor triple jump (`03)
- Outdoor long jump (`02, `03)
- Outdoor heptathlon (`02)
2003 MWC indoor pentathlon and long jump champion
Two-time NCAA Outdoor Championships qualifier in the heptathlon (2002-03)
UNM indoor record holder in pentathlon (3,845 points) and long jump (19-11.00)
Three-time Academic All-MWC honoree
Two-time MWC Scholar-Athlete award winner
2003 Academic All-District VI selection