Dream opportunity

Benatar moves on from Coppell to pursue dream at University of Houston


Sruthi Lingam

Coppell girls soccer coach Fleur Benatar leads the team through dribbling drills in CHS Fieldhouse on Jan 27. Benatar is moving to University of Houston to be the women’s soccer assistant after one year at Coppell.

Meer Mahfuz, Staff Writer

Coppell girls soccer coach Fleur Benatar is moving on.

The first year Coppell coach led the Coppell girls soccer team to a 15-6-2 overall record, 10-4 in District 6-6A, before bowing out to Allen in the Class 6A Region I bi-district playoffs. Coppell was in first place until the last game of district play.

Benatar has been named assistant women’s soccer coach at the University of Houston.

“I’m leaving the program better than I found it,” Benatar said. “I am very sorry to be leaving. And in some ways because of the relationships I made, I hate to let people down, so I feel like I didn’t see this coming. But it’s an awesome opportunity for me, and I do feel the program is going to be a better place. However, I do feel sad that I won’t be around for them. But I know that I’ll always be a resource to the players.”

Benatar’s ultimate career is to become a Division I girls soccer coach at a Power 5 school and, by joining a Houston program joining the Big 12 in 2024, Benatar moves one step closer to her dream. 

With 20-plus years of collegiate coaching experience to her name, Benatar has had the pedigree to be a Power 5 coach for years, it was just a matter of if she would be hired. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, Benatar interviewed at a few schools but ultimately earned her teaching certificate to become a high school soccer coach at Coppell to be near her family.

When Houston women’s soccer coach Jaime Frias came to Coppell looking for talented players to recruit, Benatar inadvertently sold herself to Frias and earned the opportunity to join her staff.

The “extremely difficult” decision ultimately came down to Benatar finding a perfect opportunity that allowed her to follow her dream as well as allowing her to be relatively close to her children and her family in Houston. 

“For me, it’s a battle, I was OK in high school, but going back into college, it really had to be something special,” Benatar said. “And even though this is not a local opportunity in my hometown, it’s close enough to make it work for my family, and to get myself this opportunity to get into the division one and go into a power five school. So building something special down there, and I’m grateful to be part of it. Long term, this is down a path to being a power five division one coach in the next three to five years.”

Although she is sad to be moving on from Coppell, Benatar is extremely grateful for the opportunity she was given by Coppell and she is very grateful for the support she is receiving to pursue her dream career goal.

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