'Survivor: Tocantins' castaway Benjamin Wade fired from coaching job
By John Bracchitta, 02/19/2009
Survivor: Tocantins castaway Benjamin Wade has been fired from his women's soccer coaching job for not telling his college that he would be leaving his position for two months to compete on the eighteenth edition CBS reality series. However rather than being upset about his axing, the self-styled Renaissance man believes the firing has opened the door for him to now become a big movie star.
"I'm going to be the next big thing on the big screen," Wade boasted to the Springfield News-Leader on Tuesday about his plans to pursue an acting career.
Wade -- who instructed his fellow castaways to call him "Coach" while he was on Survivor -- told the newspaper he was fired from his position as the head coach of Southwest Baptist University's women's soccer team because "the administration felt like Survivor was me going to Hollywood."
However, Brent Good, SBU's athletic director, had a more substantial reason for Wade's dismissal, telling the News-Leader that the 37-year-old from Bolivar, MO had been fired for not telling the school that he would be taking two months off in order to participate in Survivor: Tocantins, which filmed in Brazil last fall and premiered on CBS last Thursday.
"He said he was going to be gone for a week," Good told the News-Leader. "And 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 on October 22 but did not return to the school until December 17.
"Coach Wade's a good coach," Good told the News-Leader. "I think the choice he made to do what he did was not done in the right way. With that, there's a consequence with it. Unfortunately, that consequence is that his contract is not renewed, and he's no longer here."
Wade, who also works as a part-time orchestra conductor, told the News-Leader that he would be leaving for California this week to conduct the Susanville Symphony. However, he added that his eventual Hollywood aspirations included an appearance on a future All-Stars edition of Survivor, as well getting to host his own television show called The Coach Wade Show.
"I loved my time at SBU. Obviously, now I'm off to pursue adventures in Hollywood," Wade told the News-Leader.
"This has opened up a whole new world to me," Wade said. "I loved being myself on camera. There's going to be a lot of interest from the show in who I was and what I did. I'm definitely excited about that."