Sunday, October 02, 2011

Ben Wilson, Football Coach at Sandusky High School

Before Sandusky High School’s “Sensational Sixties,” the 1958 and 1959 Sandusky High School football teams were coached by Ben Wilson. Jack Wilson and Bob Seaman were assistant coaches in the fall of 1958. Team members were known as Wilsonmen according to the FRAM.

In 1942, Ben Wilson was the starting center for Dover High School’s undefeated football team. After graduating from Heidelberg College in 1947, Ben Wilson coached at Wellston, Mount Vernon, and Warren Harding high schools. From 1965 to 1968, he was the offensive coordinator at the University of Virginia. In 1968 Ben Wilson was hired to be the head football coach for Wichita State University. Bob Seaman, who was an assistant coach at Sandusky High, also served as Ben Wilson’s assistant coach at Wichita State.

A tragic plane crash in Colorado took the lives of Ben Wilson, his wife, several Wichita State football players and other individuals on October 2, 1970. Twenty nine people lost their lives in the accident, and two later died as a result of their injuries. A ceremony of remembrance is held each year on October 2, to honor those who perished in the plane crash of 1970. The Ben and Helen Wilson Memorial Scholarship was established at Wichita State University in their honor. A documentary created by Public Television station KPTS, entitled “Black & Gold: Remembering the WSU Plane Crash,” features interviews with survivors of the plane crash, and family members of those who lost their lives.

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