Darren Bennett is back as Tulare High's football coach.
The Tulare Joint Union High School District Board of Trustees last Thursday approved the return of Bennett, who stepped down in October a week after being arrested in Visalia on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
"Full steam ahead," Redskins athletic director Diana Nalbanian-Hatton said Wednesday.
Bennett also took a leave of absence as a school physical education teacher but has returned and is currently coaching junior varsity baseball, Nalbanian-Hatton said.
He pleaded no contest on Jan. 27 in Tulare County Superior Court to driving with a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher, and admitted to the special allegation that his blood alcohol level was above .15%, Assistant District Attorney Anthony Fultz said.
Bennett was sentenced to 40 hours of community service, fined $2,049, ordered to take a six-month DUI class and put on probation for three years.
Bennett has a 159-94-1 record in 23 seasons -- the first four at Central Valley Christian; the past 19 at Tulare, where he's also won three section and 11 league titles. He was The Bee's Coach of the Year following a 13-0, Division II championship season in 2008.
He last coached a 36-33 East Yosemite League victory at Delano on Oct. 18, three days following the arrest. Tulare, with longtime assistant Jason Edwards taking over as interim coach, then lost its final three games of a 3-7 season.
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