Wenatchee High School Athletic Hall of Fame

Paul K. Benjamin
COACH 1926-36 Football, Basketball and Baseball; ATHLETIC DIRECTOR 1936-40
P.K. Benjamin played an important role in adding stability to the Wenatchee High School athletic program. Football coaches had been using WHS as a springboard to jobs at bigger schools for many years. Since coaches guided several different sports, this gypsy trend, creating turnover every year or two, kept the athletic program in constant turmoil.

P.K. was the remedy. The University of Illinois graduate came onboard in 1926 after serving as an assistant football coach at the U.S. Naval Academy. Although primarily hired to guide WHS grid teams, P.K. was perhaps the first qualified Panther basketball coach. He was highly respected both as a person and as a coach while his teams compiled a 44-26-11 record on the gridiron, and a 114-55 ledger in basketball. Benjamin's hoop squads won five county championships and made three state tournament appearances. Several of his other WHS teams had records worthy of berths, including 17-1 in 1933, but weren't invited. The 1934 squad was a state semifinalist before falling to sixth, and in 1928, the Panthers placed seventh.

- Caricatures of inductees as they appeared while involved in WHS athletics and the synopsis of accomplishments are drawn and written by Jeff Mertes.