Spirit of the Gift
Biography Project

Histories of the men and women behind WSU's endowed funds

Ben and Helen Wilson Memorial Scholarship

Ben Wilson was a natural competitor who thrived on a challenge. Born in 1926, in Cadiz, Ohio, Mr. Wilson developed a passion for football. He proudly played center for Dover High Schools 1942 undefeated team. While attending Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio, he met Helen, a fellow sports enthusiast and student at the university. They married in 1948 shortly after graduating. Following successful coaching jobs in Ohio and the University of Virginia, Ben was hired in 1968 as the head football coach for Wichita State University. Tragically, Coach Ben Wilson and his wife, Helen, perished in the 1970 WSU football plane crash. Memorial scholarships were established in memory of those athletic department staff and friends who died in the crash. Of those, the Ben and Helen Wilson Memorial Scholarship is awarded to student athletes participating in the baseball program.

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