OCS Alum and Former Pepperdine Coach Takes the Helm
Oaks Christian School announces the hiring of Julie (Rubenstein) Bennett as the new girls varsity volleyball coach. A 2005 graduate of Oaks Christian and former OCS junior varsity coach, Bennett now returns to her alma mater in the top coaching spot to lead the Lady Lions in the 2019-20 season.
Bennett was most recently the assistant coach at Pepperdine University where she spent the last two seasons with the Waves. This past 2018 season was the program’s best finish since 2011, as the Waves advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament for only the ninth time in program’s history. Prior to Pepperdine, she was the director of volleyball for Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks where she planned, oversaw and coached programming throughout the year.
“Julie was an exceptional OCS athlete, a caring individual who understood the importance of team culture. She is a seasoned coach and to have her return as our head girls volleyball coach is fantastic for our girls and our school. I am pleased Oaks Christian has hired an exceptional person who fits our school’s faith-based culture. Her desire to teach young ladies the skills of volleyball and how to live a God-honoring life worthy of purpose and value is exactly what Oaks Christian is looking for,” said Head of Athletics Jan Hethcock.
A certified personal trainer, Bennett has also been a club coach at various levels, as well as the former head coach at Pacifica Christian High School in Santa Monica for five years. While there, she led the Seawolves to a 2013 CIF-SS D4a Championship and earned Coach of the Year status.
As an OCS student-athlete, Bennet garnered multiple all-league and CIF nominations in her three years of play.
After Oaks Christian she went on to play at Pepperdine where she remains one of the top players in program’s history, never missing a single set during her four years. She earned All-WCC honors in each of her four seasons, including the last three on the first team. She was also picked to the AVCA All-Pacific Region first team as a senior in 2008. She’s ranked third all-time in kills with 1,743, and third in points (2,064), fifth in kills per set (4.12) and fifth in service aces (116). Bennett helped lead the Waves to the NCAA Tournament all four seasons (including reaching the Sweet 16 in 2005) and to a 73-43 overall record (.629).
She was one of 10 Division I finalists for the 2009 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. Additionally, she was a three-time WCC All-Academic selection and a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree. She received Pepperdine’s Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year award for 2007-08. In 2016, Bennett was inducted into the Pepperdine University Department of Athletics’ Hall of Fame.
After her Pepperdine career she continued training and playing with the U.S. National Team. She also played professionally in Azerbaijan and Puerto Rico.