It is the second such honor for Steffan and the first for Benson.
The World Outdoor Championships will be held Aug. 10-18 in Moscow, Russia.
The meet will be held Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Cadet Field House.
Juli Benson is in her fifth season as an assistant coach for the Air Force track and field team. In addition to her duties coaching the Falcons' middle distance and distance runners, Benson is the head coach for the Academy's cross country program, where she was named the Mountain West Conference Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2010.
Since Benson's arrival in 2009, members of the Falcons' middle distance and distance teams have accounted for five All-America awards, 14 MWC conference titles, 27 all-conference selections and 13 Academy records.
The men's distance and middle distance runners helped the Falcons capture their first-ever Mountain West titles at both the indoor and outdoor conference championship meets in 2012. Jim Walmsley, who earned All-America status in the 3000-meter steeplechase, picked up four conference titles during his senior season, including the 3000- and 5000-meter titles at the indoor championships and the 5000-meter and steeplechase titles at the outdoor meet. Alex Lindsay won the 800-meter title at the MW Outdoor Championships, while Matt Caldwell and Lance Wolfsmith helped Air Force to a conference title in the distance medley relay at the MW Indoor Championships.
On the women's side, senior Morgan Mosby became Air Force's first individual conference champion in a running event, as she won the 1500-meter title at the MW Outdoor Championships That came less than three months after she and Melissa Fuerst, who earned all-MW honors with a third-place finish in the 1500, helped the Falcons' distance medley relay team to their first conference championship title with an Academy-record performance at the MW Indoor Championships. Mosby also set the Academy record in the 1500-meter run and qualified with Fuerst to the NCAA West Preliminary Meet, while classmate Jen Bremser set a new program standard in the 3000-meter steeplechase.
In 2011, Benson helped cap off the remarkable collegiate career of Justin Tyner, who claimed two individual All-America certificates (indoor 3000-meter run, outdoor 3000-meter steeplechase) and ran the anchor leg of the program's first-ever All-America distance medley relay team. Tyner, who claimed Mountain West Conference titles (indoor 3000-meter run, indoor 5000-meter run, outdoor 5000-meter run) during his senior year, became the second of Benson's athletes to claim the MWC High Point Award after winning the two longest races of the indoor season (Sean Houseworth, 2009).
She also coached Tyner to All-America status in 2010, as he was the top American finisher in the 3000-meter run at the NCAA Indoor Championships (third overall). It was the first All-America honor by a distance runner for the Falcons since 1998.
Benson, who was selected as the Mountain West Conference Cross Country Coach of the Year in the fall of 2010, has also revitalized the Falcons' cross country program. The men finished second at the conference meet in 2011 and 2012, while Air Force claimed a program-record eight all-conference selections in 2012 (six men, two women). In 2010, the Benson-led men's cross country team sent two athletes to the NCAA Championships - the most since 2004, while the women's squad matched its best MWC Championship finish in six years.
Benson comes to the Academy following a three-year stint at George Mason University, where she served as the men's middle distance coach and recruiting coordinator. While with the Patriots, Benson was instrumental in improving the placement of the men's cross country team at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships from ninth to second in just two seasons.
Prior to her time at GMU, she spent five years as an assistant coach for the men's and women's track and field team at Georgetown University. During her tenure with the Hoyas, over 20 athletes earned All-America status. In addition, the distance program was consistently ranked among the nation's top-10.
One of her Georgetown runners, Chris Lukezic, won the USA Junior National Championship in the 1500-meter run and finished fourth in that event at the 2004 Olympic Trials. She also guided Treniere Clement to a runner-up performance in the 1500-meter run at the 2004 NCAA Championships.
Benson began her coaching career as the head coach of the women's cross country team at her alma mater, James Madison University, in 1993. During her four-year tenure, she helped lead the Dukes to their first-ever CAA Championship. In addition, she served as an assistant coach for the track and field team.
She received a bachelor's degree in political science from James Madison in 1992. She also obtained a master's degree in sports administration and exercise science from JMU in 1996. A four-year letterwinner with the Dukes, she was an NCAA All-American in the 1500-meter run during the 1992 season. In 2002, Benson was inducted into the JMU Athletic Hall of Fame.
Benson, who spent seven years as a competitor for Asics Tiger Corporation (1993-94) and Reebok International (1994-00), served as an assistant women's coach for the 2007 U.S. World Championship Team that competed in Osaka, Japan, and as the junior women's coach for the 2003 U.S. Cross Country Team that captured its highest finish ever at the World Cross Country Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Benson served as the personal coach to Jennifer Barringer Simpson, who claimed the gold medal in the 1500-meter run at the 2011 World Outdoor Track and Field Championships and competed in that event at the 2012 Olympic Games. She also coached Tyner, Houseworth and Matt Williams, during their time as members of the Air Force World Class Athlete Program (WCAP).
She has also served as a coach to Kevin Sullivan, who set new Canadian records in the indoor and outdoor 3000-meter events and finished 13th at the 2006 World Cross Country Championships, and Lukezic, who finished seventh at the 2006 World Indoor Championships and clocked the seventh-fastest 1500-meter time ever in a U.S. outdoor performance. In addition, Benson served as a consultant to Alan Webb, who was ranked No. 1 in the 1500 meters during that time.
She was elected to the U.S. Women's Track and Field Coaches Association Advisory Board and as a representative for USATF Women's High Performance (middle distance running).
An accomplished runner in her own right, Benson represented the United States in the 1500-meter run during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. She is a two-time silver medalist in the 1500 at the World Student Games and a gold medalist in that event at the 1996 Atlanta Gran Prix. She also earned a bronze medal in the mile of the 1997 Gran Prix Final.
She was married in July 2009 to Robert Benson, the associate head football coach and defensive coordinator at The Colorado School of Mines. The couple resides in Highlands Ranch, Colo.