Ben Wade to coach Lassen College men's soccer team
May 4, 2010 —Coach, conductor, survivor, and proud Susanville resident Benjamin Wade signed a contract on Thursday, April 29 with Lassen Community College to coach the men’s soccer team starting in August. The contract is pending board approval.
Wade had previously coached the women’s team from 2001-2005 and racked up a 67-6-4 record.
At the time, Wade and his team had the second best record in the nation behind University of North Carolina’s head soccer coach Anson Dorrance.
Lassen County Times Sports Editor Brian Taylor had a chance to catch up with Wade and ask him a few questions regarding the position, his aspirations for the program and to find out more about what makes the Dragon Slayer tick.Q: When did you find out you had been chosen as Lassen’s mens soccer coach?
A: I was formerly offered the position last July, and at that time I knew that I was going on Heroes vs. Villians. My CBS contract was one year from the original show (Toncantins) so I had to tell the college that I wanted to accept the coaching position, but I couldn’t until I got back. I met with them when I got back in late September, early October and told them I was still interested in the job and have been playing a waiting game ever since. They re-offered it to me yesterday and I gladly accepted. It was tough to wait, but I want to be here. This is my town. I love Susanville and I tell that to everyone I meet.
Q: How would you describe your coaching style?
A: Nobody else runs the type of system that I run. I have always been a disciplinarian, always been very rigid with expectations, with setting the bar high, with pushing, motivating and breaking past personal thresholds. One of the biggest things that I stress is that when the team steps out on the field, is that they are going to be mentally stimulated. I set up the field one hour before practice, I run a different warm up every day and I conduct 240 drills in a season. We never do the same drill twice. It drives me crazy to see coaches doing the same drills because they are comfortable with them. It causes players to shut down. I run a lot of formations. I like to think, I like to plan and I like to crush the opposition.
Q: Have you started recruiting? Do you think your Survivor fame will help in recruitment efforts?
A: I would have been recruiting this whole time if I had known the position was mine. Now that I have the contract in hand, I can begin the recruiting process. Fortunately, I have a lot of contacts in the soccer world and now I am known internationally from the show. Will I use that? Absolutely.
Q: What similarities have you found between conducting a symphony and coaching a soccer team?
A: It’s a lot about leadership. The first year I coached, I had no idea what I was doing. I just tried to be a good leader. We did a lot less than we do now. We ran one formation. It was an old school 4-4-2, stopper, sweeper, because that’s how I learned. I just wanted to lead them. I think that if you have a clear-cut vision of what you want to do, if you set your goals above the norm and you work like heck to get there, I think that is leadership in a nutshell. With the symphony, everyone still remembers the time I handed out Tchaikovsky’s “Marche Slave.” There were kids that cried because it was too hard for them. I told them that we would get there. If I have to sit here and write out every note, I will, and we got there. You have a group of individuals that you want to get from A to B and you are responsible for getting them there. A good leader takes responsibility when things go wrong.
Q: What do you love most about Susanville?
A: I love the people, I love the mountains, I love the fact that there are not a lot of people here, I love the deer that cross my yard, and I love the symphony. The symphony is the reason I am here. The percentage of genuine people in this community is unbelievable. This town totally changed my life. I feel so blessed to be here. I consider this my home, and I do not plan on leaving for a long time.
The Lassen mens soccer season is scheduled to start in August and Coach Wade is anxious to teach these young men some serious life lessons.
Benjamin Wade signs a contract to coach the men's soccer team at Lassen Community
College on Thursday, April 29. The soccer season begins in August. Photo by Brian Taylor