The late Benjamin Silas will forever be remembered by those who played for and studied under him while he was a coach, teacher and administrator in Waycross.
Silas began his exemplary career at Center High in 1959 and coached the Center Tigerettes to a state basketball crown in 1965. As an assistant on Everett Saunders’ staff, he helped Center High achieve a state football championship in 1962. His Center girls also claimed a third place finish in the state tourney one season. His Golden Tigerettes never finished worse than second in the district.
Beloved by his scholars and athletes, the educator and coach also served as principal at Bailey Street Elementary, Center Junior High and Center Senior High during the 1959-1965 era. Many in the Waycross community, including his former athletes and scholars, have fond memories of Silas and speak often about how he taught them life lessons that went far beyond the playing field.
After his time in Waycross, he went on to a 24-year career with the U.S. Department of Education in Atlanta where he led initiatives impacting K-12 school districts and post-secondary institutions across the nation.
Married to the former Martha Williams of Waycross for 52 years, he was a role model for his two daughters and three grandchildren. He resided in the Atlanta area until his death on Oct. 8, 2010.