When he graduated from Lehigh in 1986, Rennie Benn held claim to or was tied for seven records on the gridiron and will go down as one of the most prolific pass receivers in Lehigh football history.
Benn established Lehigh records in pass receptions for a career (237), career receiving yards (3,662), career touchdown receptions (44), and touchdown receptions in a game (5). Benn also tied the mark for points in a game (30), pass receptions in one game (14) and touchdown receptions in a single season (15). Benns five touchdown catches in one game and 15 in one season were also NCAA Division I-AA records at the time. He recorded three or more touchdown catches in a game an astounding six times.
Benns 44 touchdown receptions puts him in second place all-time in the NCAA Division I-AA record books, while his 3,662 yards place him in seventh place and the 237 receptions are good for 14th.
Rennie is certainly among the best wide receivers in Lehigh history, said teammate and Hall of Famer Marty Horn 86. He was one of the best ever to wear the uniform at that position. There have been a lot of great receivers at Lehigh, but he was unique in his ability to separate from defensive backs and catch the long ball.
Benn used his deceptively quick speed to finish his career for Lehigh with the third highest point total of any player in history with 266. Benn received All-America honors in 1985 on the Kodak/AFCA Division I-AA First-Team and he was also an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American that year. Benn was also an honorable mention All-American selection in 1985 and 1983, as well as a second-team honoree in 1984 and in 1986 he played in the Senior Bowl, catching a touchdown pass in helping lead the North to victory.
Benn was named to the ECAC Division I-AA second team in 1985, following a season in which he hauled in 73 catches for 1,087 yards, which placed him eighth in Division I-AA, and the first team in 1984, when he caught 77 balls for 1,149 yards and ten touchdowns, good for fifth in the nation. Benn also excelled on the track where he was a silver medalist in the 1986 East Coast Conference Championships in the 100-meter dash.
This is a great honor to be inducted into the Lehigh Athletics Hall of Fame, Benn explains, When I think about the great tradition at Lehigh University, especially on the football field, its great to be considered with the greatest to have ever played at this wonderful university.
Benn, who played under the legendary coach John Whitehead discusses his time on the gridiron with his coach. I had a chance to play under the great John Whitehead, who not only taught us about football, but also taught us lessons and values for life, and I still use those values he instilled in our team, today in my work and family life.
Benn earned his degree from Lehigh in finance and currently he is employed by Prudential Financial, where he serves as the Director of Financial Reporting. Benn has been involved with numerous youth sports as a coach and has also volunteered his time to the local YMCA.
Benn currently resides in Summit, New Jersey with his wife Jennifer. They have two children, Hannah and William.