About Dr. Bender
Dr. John Bender was a true champion to the community of Canal Winchester and its young people, as evidenced by his 17 years on the City Council and 20 years as the coach of the girls track team and boys and girls cross country teams. He had a gift for touching the lives of children and understood the importance of developing self-confidence at a young age. He possessed a penchant for building interest in running well before most children were in middle school, citing the value of dedication and team commitment in teaching valuable life skills. The teams Dr. Bender coached achieved great success year after year as a result of the values he instilled in his athletes from an early age. In the last 10 years, 8 of those years have seen either teams or individuals participate in the state cross country meet. Many of his athletes would go on to have successful college running careers as well.
A 1960 Canal Winchester High School graduate, and then going on to earn a doctorate degree from Ohio State University, Dr. Bender worked as an educator and coach his entire career. Along with his wife, Joan, three of those years were spent on Yap Island in the Pacific Ocean teaching English to the Yapese people. His career took him to Indiana for 20 years, but he would later return to Canal Winchester where he continued to teach and coach. Dr. Bender was inducted into the Canal Winchester Schools Athletic Hall of Fame for his dedication as an athlete and coach. His involvement in the community, church and schools never waned, even as he battled illness. Dr. Bender sadly passed in September 2013. Even though now absent in person, the influence Dr. Bender has had on Canal Winchester and its residents and students will be felt for many years.