OHIO CITY, Oh - Head Football Coach Ryan Franzinger ’02 announced on Saturday that LECHARLES BENTLEY ’98 has been named Director of Football Development and Offensive Line Coach at Saint Ignatius High School.
Bentley, a former Wildcat, Ohio State Buckeye and NFL Pro Bowl offensive lineman, envisions a role that goes well beyond the football field.
“I view this as a chance to help prepare young men for life,” says Bentley, who grew up on Cleveland’s east side. “Preparing these young men to play the game of football will be the least challenging aspect of the role. This is about using football to prepare these young men to honor the school's mission– being a man for others and working toward the greater glory and honor of God.”
Franzinger said he selected Bentley because “LeCharles embodies and believes in our mission, has a passion for Saint Ignatius High School and is an amazing man and teacher. The impact he has had on our young men is already highly noticeable. I am thrilled to have him in our football family,” Franzinger explains.
Bentley’s career path since he retired from the NFL has led him to great personal and professional success. Among his many business ventures are AMDG Sports, which oversees the careers and training of NFL players. AMDG Sports Performance, one of the most prominent training centers in the country, and LB Design, a football equipment company that includes teams like Alabama, Florida, Minnesota Vikings and Ohio State as clients. Bentley has also authored two books and holds four patents on tools created for developing athletes.
Bentley was appointed the NFL’s Senior Advisor of Player Performance and Development in 2021. His work with the NFL centers around player health & safety, international growth of the game, innovation of combined drills & testing and the inception and enhancement of the NFL’s Way to Play initiative. He is passionate about teaching techniques that can protect the safety and well-being of players and will foster this culture change across all levels of football at Saint Ignatius.
“Part of my focus will be keeping coaches up to date on the latest best practices in the game as it relates to player safety by removing as much unnecessary risk in player development as possible while giving our players the best chance to play this game well beyond high school,” Bentley says. “The game is evolving; college football recruiting isn’t what it used to be with NIL and the transfer portal; therefore, we have to give athletes the tools to effectively compete on the field and for opportunities to play beyond high school, if that is their goal.”
Bentley has endowed a scholarship at Saint Ignatius named after his mother, Verneda Bentley and played a crucial role in funding and founding the school’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.