Coach (Survivor contestant)

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Coach Wade PR 2010.jpg
Wade in 2010
Born Benjamin Wade
(1971-09-18) September 18, 1971 (age 43)
Bolivar, Missouri, U.S.
Television Survivor: Tocantins
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains
Survivor: South Pacific

Benjamin "Coach" Wade (born (1971-09-18)September 18, 1971)[1][2] is an American reality television personality best known for being a contestant on Survivor: Tocantins, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, and Survivor: South Pacific. Born in Bolivar, Missouri, he later moved to Susanville, California, to conduct the Susanville Symphony[3] and pursue "adventures" in Hollywood.[4]

Early life[edit]

Wade grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he attended and graduated from West High School. He began his musical career as a child in Knoxville, making appearances on the Indianapolis Symphony, the Knoxville Symphony, and the New York Metropolitan Opera. He majored in Business at the University of Tennessee and graduated in 1993.[5] Wade performed with the University of Tennessee Orchestra, Band as well as the Knoxville Symphony and other professional orchestras.[citation needed]


In 1997, Wade was hired at Simpson University in Redding, California, to coach the women's soccer team. He then spent thirteen years coaching collegiate soccer teams and ended up at Southwest Baptist University from 2005[6] to 2009.[7] After his appearance on Survivor, Wade was fired as head women's soccer coach for the university.[4][8] The university's athletic director Brent Good had fired Wade for not telling the school that he would be taking two months off in order to participate in Survivor. Good stated in an interview, "He [Wade] said he was going to be gone for a week...the week went beyond that, which went beyond that, which went beyond that." According to Good, Wade left the team with two weeks left in the season in October but did not return to the school until December.[4] In 2010 he signed a contract to coach the Lassen Community College men's soccer team.[9] On December 10, 2013, Wade was hired as the head men’s soccer coach at Lake Tahoe Community College.


Ben Wade conducting symphony orchestra

Wade was hired on with the Susanville Symphony in 2003. His main instrument was the trumpet. He has composed several classical music pieces and is the co-founder and current artistic director and conductor of the Susanville Symphony.[10] In 2011, his ballet The Four Elements premiered.[11] A documentary featuring the accomplishments of this organization is chronicled in Small Town Big Symphony, filmed by brother Peter Wade in 2006.[12] Wade is a teacher of music history at Lassen College, a community college located in Susanville.[13]


Survivor: Tocantins[edit]

Wade was selected to participate on Survivor: Tocantins in 2009, the 18th season of the series. He is recognized as the main antagonist of this season; however, Jeff Probst has stated he doesn't feel like Wade did anything to earn this reputation. Being one of the most controversial characters to ever play the game,[14] he made it to a 5th place finish. He gave nicknames to his fellow tribemates: James "J.T." Thomas, Jr., the "warrior", Stephen Fishbach, the "wizard", Tyson Apostol, the "assistant coach" (to which Tyson later wished to upgrade himself to "co-coach"), and himself, the "Dragon Slayer". These players together formed the "Warrior Alliance".[15] Coach was perhaps most famous for telling stories of adventure from his previous exploits as a professional kayaker,[16] many having a rather casual relationship with reality.[17]

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains[edit]

For the 20th season of the series, CBS brought back "heroes" and "villains" from previous seasons.[15] Wade was selected to participate for the Villains and was the 9th person voted off and the 1st member of the jury. During his time in the game, he was a part of the Villains majority alliance and had a close alliance and relationship with fellow Villain Jerri Manthey, leading some to believe that the two had a possible romantic connection. Coach appeared to be in the majority alliance on his tribe at the time of his elimination, but outsiders Sandra Diaz-Twine, the eventual winner, and Courtney Yates managed to convince the alliance that Coach was not trustworthy, and he was sent to the jury in place of Yates. At the reunion, Wade mentioned that after this season and watching Tocantins, he realized how people viewed him, and decided that he did not want to be viewed as "The Dragon Slayer" anymore.

Survivor: South Pacific[edit]

Coach returned to Survivor for the third time as the self-styled 'Zen Slayer',[18] one of the two returning contestants (the other being Ozzy Lusth). During the season, Coach was assigned to the Upolu tribe through random draw, gaining the friendship of Edna Ma on the first day. On the first night, he made an alliance with Sophie, Rick, Albert, and Brandon Hantz. Brandon later revealed to Coach that he was Russell Hantz's nephew. Coach decided to trust Brandon, but still was wary of Brandon's outbursts. Coach and his four alliance members eliminated Christine, Stacey and Mikayla, sending them all to Redemption Island. At camp, Coach found the hidden immunity idol with the help of Albert and Sophie, keeping it a secret from Brandon and Edna. Later on, Coach staged the idol's "discovery" for Brandon, under the guise of a prayer ritual. The tribes merged with six members each, prompting Coach to attempt to sway Savaii member Cochran over in order to avoid a tie. Coach's alliance, now including Cochran, voted off the remaining Savaiis. Both Cochran and Edna, knowing themselves to be on the outside of the alliance, tried to get Coach to betray his original alliance, however Coach decided against it. Coach voted off Cochran first, followed by Edna. Coach, Sophie and Albert ended up in the final three and Coach lost to Sophie in a 6-3-0 vote, gaining 3 votes.

Survivor stats[edit]

Year Season Place
Reward challenges won Immunity challenges won Votes cast
Votes cast
Tribal Individual Tribal Individual
2008 Survivor: Tocantins 5 / 16 36 / 39 2 / 6 0 / 2 4 / 6 1 / 8 5 / 50
2009 Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains 12 / 20 21 / 39 4 / 8 4 / 7 4 / 30
2011 Survivor: South Pacific 2 / 18 39 / 39 * 3 / 7 0 / 2 4 / 7 1 / 10 0 / 111 3 / 9 Runner-up ($100,000)
Red italicized text = lead castaways in category, red italicized text with * = tied for lead


  1. ^ "Benjamin: Survivor on CBS". CBS Interactive. 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Coach: Survivor on CBS". CBS Interactive. 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Welcome to the Susanville Symphony Society". 
  4. ^ a b c Bracchitta, John (February 19, 2009). "'Survivor: Tocantins' castaway Benjamin Wade fired from coaching job". Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  5. ^ Williams, Alan (February 12, 2010). "SURVIVOR: Knoxville-native "Coach" talks game plan with Volunteer TV News at 11". Retrieved February 16, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Transactions", New York Times, April 14, 2005.
  7. ^ West, Sarah (January 16, 2009). "Benjamin Wade of Bolivar in CBS’ Survivor". Bolivar Herald-Free Press. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  8. ^ Dehnart, Andy (February 19, 2009). "Benjamin Wade fired as college soccer coach". Retrieved February 16, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Ben Wade to coach Lassen College men's soccer team", Lassen County Times, May 4, 2010.
  10. ^ "Welcome to the Susanville Symphony Society". The Susanville Symphony Society. Retrieved May 22, 2012. 
  11. ^ "The Susanville Symphony". 
  12. ^ "Documentary Channel". Documentary Channel. Retrieved May 22, 2012. 
  13. ^ Block, Brendan (February 10, 2010). "'Coach' gets second chance". The Omnibus. Retrieved April 19, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Coach Benjamin Wade, from 'Survivor: Tocantins'". May 15, 2009. Retrieved February 16, 2010. 
  15. ^ a b "'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' cast revealed". Associated Press. January 11, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2010. 
  16. ^ Schulz, Chris (July 8, 2009). "Survivor's Coach slams critics". Retrieved February 16, 2010. 
  17. ^ Andy Dehnart. "Kayaking record disputed at". reality blurred. 
  18. ^ (2000-05-31). "Watch Survivor Online". Retrieved 2013-04-26. 

External links[edit]