Written by Corbett Smith
Irving ISD hires Denton Ryan assistant Aaron De La Torre to replace long-time Irving coach Jim Bennett
Just a week after his son Alex left home to play football for the University of Texas, Aaron De La Torre has landed his dream job -- coming back to Irving to coach his alma mater.
On Monday, Irving ISD unanimously confirmed De La Torre as the successor to long-time coach Jim Bennett, who announced his retirement at the end of the season after 28 years at the school. De La Torre, Denton Ryan's defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator, played at Irving under Bennett, graduating in 1993.
"For me, there was no other job," De La Torre said. "I loved being at Ryan. But if I was ever given an opportunity to lead student-athletes, Irving's the place. ... It really is a dream come true."
A four-year letterman at defensive tackle at Stephen F. Austin, De La Torre had NFL stops with Pittsburgh and Dallas in the late '90s, playing a season in NFL Europe with the Scottish Claymores in 1999. He left football for the private sector, becoming a senior manager at Frito Lay before coming back to football in 2006 as a graduate assistant at SFA. After four years back at his alma mater, he joined Joey Florence's staff at Ryan in 2009.
De La Torre's first head coaching job will be a challenge. Irving has posted back-to-back 1-9 seasons after making the playoffs in 2008.