Bennett, Curry Join Football Program

All-SEC wide receiver Earl Bennett returns home to join Clark Lea's staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt head football coach Clark Lea announced Monday the addition of two staff members with his director of player development and director of mental performance.

Southeastern Conference Legend and former Commodore wide receiver Earl Bennett returns home as the director of player development while Kaelene Curry steps into the mental performance role.

Bennett, a Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2017 member, was selected in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft with the 70th overall pick by the Chicago Bears. He played five seasons with the Bears, catching 185 passes for 2,277 yards and 12 touchdowns.

During his three-season Vanderbilt playing career, Bennett earned a trio of All-SEC honors and caught 236 passes for 2,852 yards and 20 touchdowns. He left West End as the SEC’s all-time leader in career receptions.

He remains tied for most touchdowns catches in a single game in SEC history with five against Kentucky in 2005. Bennett was named an SEC Legend in 2015.

Bennett earned Vanderbilt bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education.

Earl Bennett Returns Home by Vanderbilt Athletics on Exposure

Curry, a licensed professional counselor in Colorado, served as a mental performance coach, speaker and consultant for the Selking Performance Group for six years prior to joining the Commodores. She was also a mental health counselor with Green Couch Counseling and an adjunct professor for the sport and performance psychology graduate program Denver University.

Curry served as an assistant softball coach at Northern Colorado in 2016 before transitioning to the college counseling center from 2017-19. With the counseling center, Curry served as a mental performance coach for a variety of teams and coordinated the life skills program for a year.

She spent the 2014-15 softball seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting and camp coordinator at Sonoma State, aiding in scouting and game preparation. Curry did mental performance coaching with both Northern Colorado’s and Sonoma State’s softball teams.

Before coaching, Curry topped off a standout playing career at University of Missouri Kansas City. Upon graduation, she was second in Kangaroo history in single season batting average (.390) and career average (.350) while holding the program single-season records for runs (46) and on-base percentage (.516) and career marks for runs (142) and hits (223). She was chosen the Summit League Player of the Year in 2011.

A native of Downers Grove, Illinois, Curry graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City with a degree in psychology and earned her master’s in sport and performance psychology from Denver in 2014.