Rich Bensman
Rich Bensman
Title: Head Men's Basketball Coach
Phone: 419-772-2454

Rich Bensman is entering his third season as head men’s basketball coach at Ohio Northern after taking over the program on Feb. 24, 2016.

Bensman served as an assistant coach at Ohio Northern the previous four seasons.

In his first two seasons at the helm, Bensman has guided the Polar Bears to a 35-19 record and a runner-up finish in the Ohio Athletic Conference in 2016-17 with a 14-4 mark. Bensman's 2017-18 squad advanced to the OAC Tournament title game for the first time since the 2006 season.

He coached Ryan Bruns to an All-American season in 2017-18 and coached Bruns to the OAC Player of the Year honor in 2017-18.

Bensman came to ONU after a highly successful prep basketball coaching career, where he won 296 games, four consecutive district championships, three consecutive regional final appearances and an Ohio High School Athletic Association State Championship in 18 seasons at the helm at Cincinnati Reading High School.

He was named the Cincinnati Hills Conference Coach of the Year in 2011, 2003 and 2002 and was named the Ohio Public High School Coach of the Year in 2003 when he guided Reading to a 24-3 record and the state title.

He was also named the Southwest District Coach of the Year in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Bensman also had coaching stints at Archbishop Moeller High School and Cincinnati McNicholas High School as an assistant where he helped guide the Rockets to an OHSAA Final Four appearance in 1993.

"I am excited to be coaching at the NCAA Division III level and I am impressed with the vision and leadership at Ohio Northern," Bensman said. "There is a lot of comradeship, working together for the common good of the University and the students."

Bensman has a bachelor's degree in communication arts from the University of Cincinnati and did his graduate work at Xavier University.

He is a native of Minster, Ohio, where he played basketball in the storied MAC conference.

Men's Basketball under Bensman

Year Record Pct. OAC Pct. OAC Tournament
2017-18 19-9 .679 12-6 / 3rd .667 Runners Up
2016-17 16-10 .615 14-4 / t2nd .778 Quarterfinals
2-Year Totals 35-19 .648 26-10 .722  
Matt Winters
Matt Winters
Title: Assistant Men's Basketball
Phone: 419-772-2454

Matt Winters is in his third year as an assistant coach at Ohio Northern University.

He joins ONU after spending the 2015-16 season at Rhodes (Tenn.), where he helped coach three players to All-SAA honors.

Winters also served as an assistant coach at Denison from 2012-15. During his time at Denison, the team advanced to the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament three times, and five of his players earned All-NCAC honors.

Winters also has high school coaching experience as he spent three seasons at Bishop Hartley High School, where he served as the freshman head coach and varsity assistant.

During the 2010-2011 season, his team advanced to the Division II State Tournament. They were also the Division II District & Regional Champions, and the Central Catholic League Champions. 

A 2009 graduate of Ohio Dominican, Winters earned a degree in Integrated Social Studies Education.

While at Ohio Dominican, he was part of a Panthers basketball team that advanced to the AMC Tournament semifinals in the 2007-2008 season. He also was the recipient of the Commitment to Leadership Award in 2008. 

Winters obtained his Masters of Educational Leadership from Dayton in 2015.

Branden Rushton
Branden Rushton
Title: Assistant Men's Basketball Coach

Branden Rushton is entering his second year as an assistant coach at Ohio Northern University.

He joins ONU after playing for the Polar Bears from 2010-14.

During his career at ONU, Rushton was a four year starter, along with receiving All-OAC honors all four years. He also was a 2014 Great Lakes Region Honorable Mention recipient.

Rushton currently ranks sixth all-time at Ohio Northern with 1,493 career points.

A 2014 graduate of Ohio Northern University, Rushton earned a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering.

Rushton also obtained his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Delaware in 2017.

Johnny Sharghi
Johnny Sharghi
Title: Assistant Men's Basketball Coach

Johnny Sharghi is in his third year as a graduate assistant coach at Ohio Northern University.

A 2015 graduate from the University of San Diego, Sharghi earned a degree in biology with a double minor in chemistry and communication studies.

Sharghi spent a season in the ABA playing with the San Diego Surf and was a member of the U. of San Diego basketball team as a freshman.

Sharghi is a current graduate student at Ohio Northern University currently working towards his PharmD degree.