Bender has been a part of Brownell's staff for four seasons, and the Tigers have compiled a 74-58 overall record during that time and advanced to postseason play twice.
The Tigers improved by 10 wins from 2012-13 to 2013-14, posting a 23-13 overall record last season with a trip to the NIT semifinals. Clemson's 10-win improvement tied the school record for the best single-season turnaround.
In 2011-12, he was part of a staff that helped Clemson to a 16-15 overall record, 8-8 in conference play. It was the fifth straight ACC regular season with at least a .500 record for the Clemson program, an all-time record at the school. In addition, the Tigers knocked off three NCAA Tournament teams in Florida State, NC State and Virginia. The 20-point win over ACC Tournament champion Florida State would prove to the be the Seminoles' largest margin of defeat that season.
In his first season at Clemson, Bender was an important part of the staff that led the Tigers to a 22-12 final record in 2010-11. Clemson was 9-7 in the ACC, the No. 4 seed for the conference tournament in Greensboro, NC. The Tigers advanced to the NCAA Tournament for a record fourth straight season and won their first-round game over UAB, 70-52, in Dayton, Ohio.
Bender brought nearly 25 years of collegiate coaching experience, including 18 at the Division I level, to the Tiger staff when he was hired in 2010. He began his collegiate coaching career at DePauw in 1987 under the late Royce Waltman. He helped the Division III Tigers to an outstanding four-year overall record of 80-30.
DePauw was ranked No. 1 twice during his tenure. Bender helped the Tigers to a national runner-up finish in the 1990 NCAA Tournament.
After his stint with DePauw, Bender served as an assistant coach under Ron Bradley at Radford from 1991-97. The Highlanders compiled the top conference record and non-conference record of all the teams in the Big South during Bender's six seasons with the program. He was part of the coaching staff that guided Radford to a 73-72 upset over LSU during the 1993-94 season.
Bender left Radford in 1997 and was reunited with Waltman as part of the staff at Indiana State. Bender coached with the Sycamores for 10 seasons from 1997-2007. He helped ISU to consecutive 20-win seasons and NCAA Tournament appearances in 1999-2000 and 2000-01.
In 1999-00, the Sycamores compiled a 14-4 record in the Missouri Valley Conference and won the regular season title. Indiana State then won the MVC Tournament the following season. The Sycamores went on to upset No. 4 seed Oklahoma, 70-68, in the first round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament.
Bender was also part of the ISU staff that defeated perennial power Indiana in back-to-back seasons. The Sycamores defeated the Hoosiers in Bloomington by a score of 63-60 on Dec. 11, 1999, Bob Knight's final season at Indiana. Then, the following season, ISU won 59-58 with a buzzer-beater at home over Mike Davis' squad.
The native of Grantsville, Md., graduated from Western Maryland in 1986 and earned a master's degree from DePauw in 1989. He was a two-year letterman and team MVP at Western Maryland. He was third in the nation in 1985-86 in free throw accuracy for Division III players with a 91 percent clip.
Bender and his wife, Beth, have two sons: Dalton (22) and Dillon (20). Dalton is a Tulane graduate currently working in New Orleans and Dillon is a rising junior basketball player at Mt. Aloysius College in Cresson, Pa.