Benjamin ‘Coach’ Wade has played Survivor three times and has come up short in every run. He has played with an incredible amount of heart and soul, sprouting words of wisdom to every player he came across and vowing to never betray their trust. He prided himself on being a strong man of faith with a life full of enriching experiences that made him into the man he is.
In his first season, Coach nicknamed himself ‘The Dragon Slayer’ after taking out his biggest opponent, Brendan. After trying very hard to get the name to stick, fans eventually gave in and began using it, and his status as one of the greatest villains to ever play Survivor was cemented. Because of his affinity for storytelling, Coach has had several memorable one-liners during his time on Survivor.
10 “There’s Nobody Here That’s Honorable Anymore. Except For Me.”
Every time Coach played the game, he wanted to make sure he did it in a way that honored both God and himself. He had very strong standards set for other people, and, if they didn’t reach them, he usually felt betrayed and unsettled.
When giving a confessional, he announced that he was the only honorable player left in the game, something that could be seen by audience members as an opinionated comment. However, it’s a classic Coach quote because he praises himself while playing the same deceptive game as those around him, failing to see the irony in his claims.
9 “You Can’t Run Away From Fear. You Can’t Run Away From Obstacles.”
On Survivor: South Pacific, Coach and Survivor veteran Ozzy Lusth served as captains of opposing tribes.
When Coach joined his blue tribe, he was unhappy with Christine’s initial perception of him. She called him a “temporary player,” something he refused to let go of until she was voted off. In a confessional following her statement, he said he wouldn’t run away from obstacles or fear this time around, and South Pacific ended up being the season he placed highest on, coming in second.
8 “At The Dawn Of Every Morning, Hope Springs Eternal.”
Coach was known for practicing yoga and meditation on the island, sometimes encouraging others to join in and get into a healthy mindset with him prior to challenges or tribal council.
One of Coach’s most notable yoga quotes was about hope and how it would spring eternal. He was a firm believer that everything happened for a reason and that the universe was on his side —he just needed to have a little faith. Out of anyone else’s mouth, the words would seem silly, but, coming from Coach, one can’t help but believe him.
7 “You Can Throw Stones At Me, And I’m Just Gonna Do this, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Pat Benatar, I Don’t Care.”
Often times Coach was funny without realizing it, but there were a couple of times where he was funny on purpose and flashed an actual smile on camera.
One of his funniest quotes was in a confessional where he referenced Pat Benatar’s single ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot.’ It was random and out of nowhere, but, again, made sense coming from The Dragonslayer. He felt comfortable enough in his position in the game to crack jokes, and it was well-received by viewers, who needed him to lighten up at times.
6 “I’ve Been Through A Hurricane, Been Attacked By A Shark, Had A Run-In With A Crocodile, Got Captured The Indian Tribe…I Mean…”
Coach gained popularity in Survivor: Tocantins for telling ridiculous campfire stories about the various adventures he had been on in his lifetime. Despite only being in his late 30s, Coach had “five, six, seven, or eight” near-death experiences, something that Survivor host Jeff Probst called him out on during tribal council. He went on to list some of them, resulting in giggles from his tribemates who didn’t believe any of it to be true.
5 “If Anybody Calls Me Benjamin To My Face I’m Gonna Lose It.”
Coach made a lot of enemies during his time on Survivor. On South Pacific, Stacey and Christine were strong opponents of his, and, when they got sent to Redemption Island, they openly slandered his name.
While being asked a question by Jeff, Stacey brought up the fact that ‘Coach’ wasn’t even his real name and that as a grown man he should go by his birth name. Coach was very upset with this declaration by Stacey and confronted his tribe later by saying he would lose it if anyone called him by his full name. He was completely serious, which made the whole thing even funnier.
4 “I Have.”
Fans and castaways got a sense of just how truly comical Coach was when, during an immunity challenge, Brendan said that none of the Survivor players had ever done anything like they were doing on the island. Coach, without missing a beat said confidently, “I have.”
His teammate Taj gave him a look in the moment that was so hilarious that she had to bite her lip to stop laughing. Even though Survivor was full of new experiences for everyone, it was just another day in the life according to Coach Wade.
3 “Do You Want To Call Me The Dragon Slayer Because I’m Cutting The Head Off The Dragon? You Can Call Me Whatever You Want To, Because At This Point In Time I Feel Brilliant.”
Coach was very proud of himself for eliminating Brendan and Sierra, and he felt like a genius for conjuring up the plan to get rid of his former tribemates. He and his Survivor bromance partner/assistant coach Tyson teamed up with JT and Stephen following the merge, leaving behind Timbira tribe loyalty. He gave a confessional praising his great ideas, even though JT and Stephen were largely responsible for executing the plan.
2 “In War… And This Is Love & War… It’s Killed Or Be Killed.”
After Tyson’s elimination, Coach went off on Sierra for betraying Timbira loyalty and leaving him without his best friend and partner in crime. He went from riding on the high of slaying the dragon to feeling like he had no one else to trust and wanting to get Sierra voted out more than ever before.
Even though Coach criticized Sierra for doing exactly what he, Tyson, and Debbie had done, he himself could do no wrong. He told her that the game was war now and that she needed to watch her back, as she would be punished for poking the beast that was the Dragon Slayer.
1 “You, My Friend, Are The Dragon. And I, Am The Dragon Slayer.”
The whole ‘Dragon Slayer’ nickname originated when Coach decided that his former teammate Brendan needed to be the next person eliminated. He felt that he couldn’t trust him or his ally Sierra and that Brendan’s antics resembled that of a dragon. Thus, he, the Dragon Slayer, must slay him by voting him out.
In his voting confessional, Coach said his most famous lines where he bestowed the nickname upon himself. It would live on for seasons to come and even be referenced in the Ponderosa band ‘The Dragonz’ that he created with JT and Courtney on Heroes vs Villains.