Born August 24, 1941 in Pitt County, North Carolina . Senior Class and Student Body president, Jacksonville High School 1958-59. Received BA in History and Political Science from Davidson College in 1964 and JD from UNC-CH Law School in 1967. Married Kathy Cannon of Charleston SC in 1968 and they have three children: Cannon, Elise and Annie. Attorney-at-law in Southern Pines NC from 1967-1970 and in Jacksonville from 1971 to the present. Helped start youth soccer program in Jacksonville in 1975 and later helped start classic soccer programs in Jacksonville, Wilmington, Goldsboro and New Bern and other Eastern North Carolina communities. President of Jacksonville Area Soccer Association from 1976-2001. Member of Board of Directors of the East Carolina Soccer Association from 1988-2001. Active in NCYSA since 1985: Men’s Classic Coordinator, Age Group Coordinator, Classic Scheduler, Protest and Appeals Committee. Helped start the Collegiate Soccer Festival in Jacksonville in 1988-1989. Member of Board of Directors of North Carolina Amateur Sports. Formed the Jacksonville Sports Authority and hosted North Carolina State Games regional competition four years. Called “Coach Ben” by his players and former players. Coached boys and girls recreational teams and boys classic team from 1985-1990. His Jacksonville Jazz girls team won the ECSA championship and his 1971 Jacksonville Cardinals were NCYSA State Cup semi-finalists in 1986, 1987 and 1989 and won the North Carolina U-17 Championship in 1988. Selected Jacksonville-Onslow County Man-of-the-Year in 1989. Vice-President and Board Member on the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers.
Comments from former players and parents of former players: one of the most unselfish individuals with his time, talents, energy, especially when working with or for the hundreds of young people who play soccer in Jacksonville or Onslow County; serves the youth community quietly and effectively; has the ability to communicate with young people; patient and understanding; his positive attitude motivates his players to always do their best; gives a lot, demands a lot, and makes what you do fun and rewarding; builder of values and character; selfless and altruistic; one of the fairest men I know, plays no favorites on or off the field; the aspects he has taught us are priceless; respects his players, trusts us, treats us as adults; we try to live up to that responsibility; one of the most benevolent and munificent men I know; understanding when problems arise;
he is always willing to help someone who needs advice or guidance; listens to what the players have to say about what is happening; under his leadership soccer has joined baseball, basketball and football as a sport that youth in Jacksonville play; has worked effectively with local officials to provider present and future playing facilities; parents know that the primary purpose of his involvement in soccer is to promote the sport for the benefit of any Jacksonville-area boy or girl desiring to play, regardless of ability, race, or economic status.