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Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains - Coach

Updated on January 15, 2010

One of the Most Hated Survivor Villains

Benjamin "Coach" Wade, age 38, first entered the world of Survivor with Survivor: Tocantins. As the 11th member voted out, Coach became a member of the jury, making it further than a lot of people actually expected. Why? Because he was by far one of the most hated players of all time. His arrogance is legendary. From the beginning, he thought he was in control of the game. The truth? He was wrong.

Well known for both his Steven Segal-esque hairstyle and his big mouth, Coach is one of those people who seems to think he's done it "bigger and better" than anyone else. Air dropped in the middle of Amazon and taken hostage by some tribe? Seriously? And that was only one of his incredibly ridiculous stories. Anyone believe that he was actually an orchestral conductor?  Actually, that one was TRUE.  With Coach, you never know...

In the end, it was his lies throughout the entire season that caused most of American viewers to despise him with a furor unmatched in Survivor history. According to Coach, he has been in several life-threatening, fantastical situations. While he thought he was pumping himself up and being a great storyteller, most viewers reacted quite strongly to his over-imagined and obviously made-up stories.

Which is why he is the perfect Survivor Villain. Expect Coach to go into this Allstar season with his chest puffed up and his stories ready to roll. I can't wait to see how he'll react with this past season's Russell. The difference between them, of course, is that while Coach only thought he was in control, most of the time Russell actually was.


Claims to Fame

On the Survivor website, Coach's personal claim to fame reads "Holding the World’s Record for “Longest solo kayak trip 6,132 miles."  what?  Okay.  I'm not sure exactly how long that would have taken, but apparently it's true.  That's the thing with Coach, you never really know if he's telling the truth, but nine times out of ten, the things he says are incredibly hard to believe.

One of his Survivor claims to fame is that he strongly believes in wanting talented and deserving Survivors to win the title.  He doesn't believe that "weak" players should make it to the end, and he made it part of his personal Survivor journey to try to get rid of the weak players first.  Incredibly, this is also a similar belief system to Sugar, who is a Hero this season.  Personally, I find this a flawed way to play the game of Survivor.  In essence, the game is not just about being able to excel at challenges or be strong.  It's equally about the social aspects of the game.  It's about making friends and alliances that last, it's about manipulation and being sneaky.  It's about knowing when to make your move.  You can't decide who is truly "worthy" of the title of sole survivor based singly on physical ability.

Getting Fired

After Survivor Tocantins, there was a lot of buzz about Coach getting fired from his job as a Coach at Southwest Baptist University.  Was it true?  Yes, actually, this was true.  Rumor had it that he never told his boss he was going to appear on Survivor, so when the show aired, he was fired for - of all things - lying.  Coach's story is that he turned Survivor down at first, saying that he could not leave his "girls" on the soccer team, but when he told his direct boss about the opportunity, she insisted he take the gig. 

Unfortunately, his boss didn't tell her boss, the athletic director.  When the athletic director did find out, however (and no doubt after they realized just how much of an ass he was on the show) he was fired from his job.  Apparently, when he lost his job, Coach called his symphony in Northern California and asked for a full-time job.  They agreed, and he moved home to conduct the orchestra.  He aspires to travel and one day even have his own reality tv show.  Good luck on that one, Coach. 

How Will He Do?

Given another shot at the Survivor crown, how will Coach do this season?  With heavyweights like Russell and Boston Rob on his team, will Coach be swallowed up?  Or will he dominate?  According to Jeff Probst's cast assessment, he thinks Coach doesn't really have a chance to win, but that a smart play for someone else would be to take Coach deep into the game.  After all, who would vote for Coach in the final tribal council vote? 

Thanks for reading and feel free to add your comments and say whether you like Coach or not.  Also, how far do you think he'll go in the Heroes Vs. Villains season?

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