Benjamin "Coach" Wade is a contestant from Survivor: Tocantins, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, and Survivor: South Pacific.

Considered one of the most recognizable and polarizing castaways in Survivor history, Coach made a name for himself with his unorthodox ways. Describing himself as 'the Dragon Slayer,' he boasted of his accomplishments in a variety of esoteric hobbies, including zen meditation, classical music, and women's soccer coaching, and preened himself on his honorable tactics despite being caught in numerous lies and betraying several of his tribemates.

In Tocantins, Coach annoyed his tribemates with his behavior, but managed to endear himself to Tyson Apostol and a few other Timbira members. He was most remembered for telling a story about him getting captured in the Amazon, but managing to escape much to the disbelief of his fellow castaways. Even as the Timbira coalition's control of the game evaporated after the merge, Coach remained close to power, establishing a working relationship with Jalapao power players J.T. Thomas and Stephen Fishbach. He was melodramatically voted out at the final five by the hands of Stephen.

Little had changed about Coach by the time he participated in Heroes vs. Villains. Again he overcame his idiosyncrasies to form a tight relationship with Jerri Manthey; together, they became the swing votes pivotal in eliminating Rob Mariano. This betrayal caused Rob to famously impugn Coach as a 'little man.' This decision also proved fatal strategically, as he was blindsided at the following Tribal Council by his own alliance in a charge led by Sandra Diaz-Twine. He finished in 12th place.

Appearing a third time in South Pacific, Coach had finally learned from his past mistakes. This time, his posture as a trustworthy figure was more convincing. He managed to form a long-lasting alliance (The Family) on the very first night of the game, and thanks to an impressive display of empathy, convinced John Cochran to flip to his alliance at the merge. He even betrayed several of his allies and Cochran as well. His alliance and strong strategic play would take him to the Final Three. However, his inability to own his decisions at Final Tribal Council caused him to lose to Sophie Clarke in a 6-3-0 vote, thus finishing as runner-up.


Retrieved from

Benjamin "Coach" Wade (37)
Hometown: Bolivar, Mo.
Occupation: Soccer Coach

Benjamin Wade is known by many names. As the head women's soccer coach at the Southwest Baptist University in Missouri, he is called "Coach Wade," but he also goes by "Maestro" due to role as an artistic director and conductor of a California symphony orchestra. A skilled musician, Benjamin was traveling the world playing the trumpet before most kids could even spell "trumpet."

Wade sees coaching as another form of manipulation. "You have to find out what everybody wants, what everybody needs, what they think they want, what think they need and then you have to be the person that solves everything." He knows these skills will be valuable in the game of Survivor.

If Benjamin was asked to wear just one hat, it would be that of "Renaissance Man." Aside from setting the world record for the longest solo kayak expedition on the ocean (an amazing 6,132 miles), Wade has also been attacked by a tiger shark, stalked by a jaguar in the Amazon and has been bitten by a piranha on his right hand. To say that he is a Type A, Alpha male, who likes to control the environment around him may just be an understatement. Coach's dominant personality will be a force to be reckoned with in the game.

Benjamin is single and currently splits his time in Bolivar, Mo, and Susanville, Calif. His birth date is September 18.[1]

Benjamin "Coach" Wade (38) Tribe: Villains
Hometown: Susanville, Calif.
Current Residence: Susanville, Calif.
Personal Claim To Fame: Holding the World's Record for "Longest solo kayak trip 6,132 miles."
Inspiration in Life: "Composing classical music for the Susanville Symphony."
Previous Finishes: Tocantins: 11th out, 5th jury member
Favorite Past Moment: "My monastic approach to exile."
Previous Survivor He Respects Most: Tom Westman (Palau)
Previous Survivor He Respects Least: Jonny Fairplay (Pearl Islands, Micronesia)
Why Did He Come Back?: "Redemption!"[2]

Name (Age): Benjamin "Coach" Wade (39)
Current Residence: Susanville, Calif.
Previous Seasons: Survivor: Tocantins and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Coach believes that it is his experience and his leadership that make him an asset to his tribe, but he's reevaluating his strategy this time around. "I've got to come out here and I've got to be confident but not arrogant, strong but not intimidating, I've got to be humble but not weak, I've got to be honorable but not self righteous."[3]



Coach's appearance inspired some strong first impressions from other contestants, and he was excited when Jeff Probst announced that both tribes would vote someone out right away on Day 1, eager to "get rid of the weak players before we even start". He formed the Timbira Alliance before the merge with Tyson (who he called his assistant coach) and Debbie and quickly took control of the Timbira tribe. Coach's leadership style and personality did make him a few enemies in Candace and Erinn, the latter claiming that Brendan made a better leader. Though Coach succeeded in voting out Candace, Erinn was spared when Jerry fell ill and Timbira won the remaining pre-merge challenges. Brendan rivaled Coach's influence in the game, setting the stage for a power struggle that wouldn't be resolved until the merge. After the merge he made new allies with former Jalapao members Stephen Fishbach (who he called "The Wizard") and J.T. Thomas (who he called "The Warrior"). Together with previous allies Debbie and Tyson, the five became the "Power Alliance", reflecting Coach's philosophy to take the strongest players to the end. J.T. and Stephen were happy to go along with it, but as they pulled in outsider Erinn, they remained most loyal to her and original tribemate Taj. The night Joe was medevaced, Coach told the tribe his story about the time he was kidnapped by indigenous people when kayaking in the Amazon. The story shocked everyone, and even his closest allies questioned the authenticity of the story, though no one other than Brendan responded to ask some clarifying questions. At that point, Brendan decided he could no longer trust Coach. After Coach claimed he had prior experience breaking tiles in the Day 22 Reward Challenge, Probst would go on to playfully comment on Coach's experiences in his subsequent failures to win Reward Challenges, in particularly that one when the reward was kayaking. Coach labeled Brendan as "The Dragon" and Coach named himself the Dragon Slayer, and fulfilled this title on Day 24 when Brendan was voted out 4-3-2.  After Brendan's vote out, Timbira continued to cave from within and Coach was a key reason for that. He constantly told Sierra that she was the next to go, claiming the noble thing to do was to "fall on her sword like the Samurai". At this point, Coach became very comfortable in his position to the point that he sat out of the Day 27 Immunity Challenge for pizza and beer, which nearly proved costly as Sierra almost won. Though Debbie ultimately prevailed, Coach's plan to vote out Sierra was interrupted by the Jalapao contingent and Erinn opting to blindside physical threat Tyson instead. This blindside let to a brief attempt to try to rekindle a Timbira strong gameplan, but at that point Coach and Debbie's relationships with Sierra and Erinn were irreparable. Things did not improve even after Coach won immunity on Day 30 and finally sent Sierra home, as Debbie began to distance herself from Coach as well. Though Debbie targeted him on Day 33, Coach was spared as the Jalapao Alliance saw Debbie as the bigger threat. The following day, Coach cited various health issues asked J.T and Coach to send Taj and Erinn to Exile Island despite admitting the noble choice would be to send J.T. or himself since they were the only ones left that haven't gone. J.T. won the Reward Challenge and referenced that nobility in sending Coach to exile. Coach once again listed his injuries and conditions but also declared he would not eat or sleep, which angered Erinn as she felt he was minimizing the Exile experience. On Exile Island, Coach cherished the opportunity and claimed that it made him more of a man. A weakened Coach, now with a cane, approached the Immunity Challenge on Day 36, only to push J.T. to the limit in an endurance showdown. J.T. came out on top, but not without Coach audibly struggling and collapsing, the dramatics of which annoyed Erinn and Taj who were skeptical of his antics. Coach pushed for Erinn to go, which J.T. and Stephen had considered given her rude comments toward Coach in the last few days. J.T. planned on voting for Erinn anyway to keep his promise to Coach, leaving Stephen as the swing vote. At Tribal Council, Coach claimed the vote would not be a blindside as "women have good intuition", confident Erinn's fate was sealed. Coach was ultimately voted out on Day 36 since Stephen decided to put his alliance with J.T., Taj, and Erinn ahead of the one he had with Coach and J.T.

At Final Tribal Council, Coach asked J.T. and Stephen for examples of honesty and integrity during later stages of the game and being the noble warrior. He respected J.T. more than he respected Stephen, so he voted for J.T. to win, writing "The Warrior" on his parchment and contributing to J.T.'s unanimous victory.

Voting History

Coach's Voting History
Episode Coach's
Voted Against
1 Timbira Tribe Immune
2 Candace -
3 Jerry -
4 Timbira Tribe Immune
5 Timbira Tribe Immune
7 Timbira Tribe Immune
8 No Tribal Council
9 Brendan Brendan, Sierra
10 Sierra -
11 Sierra Individual Immunity
12 Taj Debbie
13 Erinn Erinn, Stephen, Taj
Voted Out, Day 36
Voted for
Sole Survivor

Heroes vs. Villains

Coach was put on the villains tribe due to his behavior and gameplay in his original season. He got off on the right foot because of his strength in challenges and since he immediately found an ally in Tyson, both from the same original season. He was often seen as entertainment to the tribe, inviting the tribe to meditation sessions as well as climbing trees while Boston Rob Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine debated whether or not he would reach the top. Coach also developed some feelings for Jerri Manthey but not much came out of it aside from building an alliance between them. At the first Tribal Council, Coach's feelings were hurt by Sandra's comments of how he was little more than a laughing stock but after Tribal Council, Tyson comforted him and politely told him to stop wearing feathers in his hair. Coach was fine after that. Russell Hantz tried to recruit Coach in his alliance but in "Banana Etiquette", Coach helped Rob in the split vote against Russell and Parvati Shallow. However the plan did not work thanks to Tyson switching his vote and Tyson was eliminated. The Villains would lose the next Immunity Challenge and despite Rob and Russell's alliances targeting Russell and Rob respectively, Coach insisted in voting off the weakest player, which in his perspective was Courtney Yates. During the Tribal Council in "I'm Not a Good Villain", Coach mentioned how Tyson bridged the divisions on this tribe. He would vote for Courtney, playing a part in Boston Rob's vote off. In "Expectations", Sandra told Russell that Coach was targeting him in an attempt to keep herself and Courtney in the game longer. Russell, Parvati, and Danielle went back and forth on whether to vote off Courtney or Coach and the girls of the tribe (minus Jerri) voted off Coach, making him the 1st member of the jury.

At Final Tribal Council, Coach praised Parvati's game play, called Russell a little man and told him that he would have been the strongest person in the game had he admitted he crossed a line, called Sandra a coattail rider, and criticized her for her weakness in challenges. He voted for Parvati to win along with the other villains excluding Courtney as Sandra became the Sole Survivor in a 6-3-0 vote.

Voting History

Coach's Voting History
Episode Coach's
Voted Against
1 Villains Tribe Immune
2 Villains Tribe Immune
3 Randy -
4 Villains Tribe Immune
5 Villains Tribe Immune
6 Parvati1 -
7 Courtney -
8 Courtney Courtney, Danielle,
Parvati, Sandra
Voted Out, Day 21
Voted for
Sole Survivor

^1 In Banana Etiquette, Parvati used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Coach's vote against her.

South Pacific

At first, Coach was not well received by his tribe, Upolu, with his only friend being Edna Ma. He had a conflict with Christine Shields Markoski, which is mostly one-sided on her side (Christine openly said that Coach and Ozzy were "temporary players"). Due to Christine clearly not being on the same side as him, Coach targeted her and her ally Stacey Powell first and thanks to the alliance he created on Day 1 (consisting of Rick Nelson, Sophie Clarke, Brandon Hantz, and Albert Destrade) and with extra help from Edna, Christine and Stacey would be the first to go from the Upolu tribe. Coach was the first player to know about Brandon being Russell's nephew, and was the only one to know until Brandon revealed it to his whole tribe in Survivalism. Coach had a shaky relationship with Brandon because Brandon trusted him more than anyone else at the tribe but at the same time Brandon proved to be an unstable and oversensitive player. Coach's first big decision came in Free Agent, where Coach was upset at Mikayla Wingle for not listening to him during the Immunity Challenge, which ultimately lead to their defeat. Coach, Brandon, and Edna were set on voting off Mikayla, but Albert and Sophie thought that Edna deserved to go, since she was a weaker player. Coach did all he could to convince Rick that Edna should stay because Edna would blindly follow Coach, no matter what. In the end, Coach barely got his way, and Mikayla was voted off that night.

After Mikayla's departure, the remaining Upolu members, mainly thanks to Coach, became more unified and went into the merge ready to take down Savaii with the help of John Cochran, who respected Coach and didn't really like his own tribe. In "Trojan Horse", Cochran decided to side against Savaii which allowed Coach and the rest of Upolu to systematically eliminate them. By "Cut Throat", the only Savaii members that remained were Cochran and Ozzy (the latter who had survived via Redemption Island), and at this point the vote-offs became more difficult for Coach, since everyone truly trusted him and as much as he didn't want to disappoint anyone, he had to. He stuck to his word by staying true to his original alliance, voting off Cochran first and then voted out Edna.

However, Coach and Ozzy Lusth made a deal when Coach visited Redemption Island that the two would work together to go to the final 3. Coach said that he made that promise because Ozzy is a truly noble player that he respects. In "Then There Were Five", Coach was annoyed that while the loved ones stayed at Redemption Island, Brandon's dad practically forced him into taking Brandon to the end and as much as he liked Brandon, he felt like he had to go. Coach was upset when Brandon won immunity but then Brandon talked about giving immunity to Albert to forgive Albert and then Brandon, Albert, and Coach would vote off Sophie. But Coach stuck to his own plans and voted off Brandon. Once Ozzy returned from Redemption Island, Coach was torn between his Upolu allies and his promise with Ozzy. Ozzy won Individual Immunity and with no choice but to turn on each other, Rick was voted out in a 3-2 vote. When Coach attempted to hug Rick, Rick angrily told him to sit down. In the final 4 when Sophie won immunity, Coach had one last big decision to make between voting off Albert or Ozzy. In the end, Coach made what he believed was the smarter decision and voted off Ozzy.

At the Final Tribal Council, most players respected Coach for playing a much better and stronger game than in his two previous seasons, but at the same time, they criticized him for preaching his honor code because he did play a deceptive game, and not owning his game. Coach received votes from Cochran, Edna, and Rick (at first thought to be from Cochran, Jim, and Brandon), which was enough to make him the runner-up of Survivor: South Pacific, behind Sole Survivor Sophie.

Voting History

Coach's Voting History
Episode Coach's
Voted Against
1 Upolu Tribe Immune
2 Christine -
3 Upolu Tribe Immune
4 Stacey -
5 Upolu Tribe Immune
6 Mikayla -
7 Upolu Tribe Immune
8 Keith;
9 Ozzy -
Jim -
10 Dawn -
Whitney -
12 Cochran -
13 Edna Individual Immunity
14 Brandon -
15 Rick -
Ozzy -
Jury Votes
for Coach
Cochran, Edna, Rick
Runner-Up, Day 39

^1 In Double Agent, the vote ended with a 6-6 tie between Keith and Rick, forcing a revote. Coach did not change his vote on the revote.


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  • On January 9, 2010, Coach attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party along with all of his Heroes vs. Villains cast mates.
  • Coach, along with Danielle DiLorenzo, starred in a movie called 180 that came out in 2011.[4]
  • Coach has currently eloped and married a lady whom he wrote a ballet for. He revealed this to Parvati Shallow on the Survivor After Show that Parvati hosts, following the elimination of Brandon Hantz from Caramoan.
  • Coach appeared in Survivor After Show show as a guest, with Parvati Shallow. He appeared in the After Show following "Persona Non Grata", where he got a chance to speak with former South Pacific ally Brandon Hantz.
  • Coach's daughter, Lenna, was born on May 8, 2014.[5]
  • Coach retired from coaching soccer at the Lake Tahoe Community College.[6]
  • Coach was inducted to the Survivor Hall of Fame in 2015.[7]
  • Coach and his wife welcomed a son, Bekston William Wade, born on October 13, 2016.[8]


  • When Coach left the United States to film Survivor: Tocantins, he told his coworkers that he was having surgery for a rare form of brain cancer.
  • Coach lost 31 lbs. during his time in Tocantins.[9]
  • During Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, Coach routinely wrote numbers alongside the person he was voting out. These were 4, 18, 1, and 7 which, when ran alongside the alphabet, spells "DRAG" in an attempt to spell "DRAGONSLAYER" through his votes. Coach did not practice this during South Pacific.
  • Coach lost 22 lbs. during his time in Heroes vs. Villains.[10]
  • Coach has experienced both Exile Island and Redemption Island, but the latter was merely a visit as opposed to being voted out.
  • Coach is the third castaway to compete more than once at the same location (in his case, Samoa), following Rupert Boneham (Panama) and Russell Hantz (also Samoa). Later, Malcolm Freberg (Philippines), and Michaela Bradshaw and Zeke Smith (Fiji) would also follow.
    • However, unlike the others, he competed in Samoa in both subsequent attempts and not his original attempt.
  • In "Reap What You Sow", Coach revealed that he does not like being called "Benjamin."
  • Coach currently displays his unused Hidden Immunity Idol in his living room.
  • Coach has stated that he will not play for a fourth time.[11]
  • Coach is one of three castaways (along with Russell Hantz and Colby Donaldson) to compete in three seasons and not participate in a Tribe Switch.
  • The color of each tribe Coach has been on are the same colors as the tribes in Survivor: Cook Islands.
  • Coach, along with Colby DonaldsonJerri MantheyRob MarianoRupert Boneham, and Tina Wesson are the only six castaways to compete in seasons with 16, 18, and 20 castaways.
  • In all three of his seasons, his tribe won exactly four Immunity Challenges.


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