Ward begins his seventh season with Charleston Southern Buccaneers and his second as head coach. He previously served as the associate head coach after receiving a promotion prior to the 2016 season. During his time at CSU, Ward has worked predominantly as the pitching coach and has helped the Bucs set numerous school records while evolving into one of the premiere staff in the Big South Conference year-in, year out.
For the third consecutive season, Ward and the Charleston Southern Buccaneers’ pitching staff were among the best in the Big South, finishing third in the conference in Team ERA. Evan Raynor was among the Big South leaders in strikeouts, innings pitched, and opponents’ batting average, while Wil Hartsell emerged as one of the top closers in the conference after missing the first half of the season.
Ward saw his pitching staff put together a school record 471 strikeouts during the 2015 season, culminating in LHP Andrew Tomasovich being drafted in the 21st round by the Oakland A’s. The Bucs finished the season 10th-nationally with 8.8 Ks per nine innings.
The 2015 season was the second consecutive year the Bucs pitching staff contributed to re-writing the CSU record books.
Ward’s staff posted a CSU record five shutouts during the Charleston Southern Buccaneers’ record-setting, 30-win season in 2014. He oversaw a staff that led the Bucs on a late-season run that saw them win 10 of their final 15 Big South games en route to earning a spot in the conference tournament. Tory Schroff enjoyed another excellent campaign under Ward’s tutelage, going 5-4 with a 4.06 ERA while striking out 51 batters. Tomasovich also began to come into his own in 2014, upping his game during Big South play to finish as the staff leader in wins (7), innings pitched (82.1) and strikeouts (52).
Closer Austin Weekley provided another highlight for the CSU pitching staff in 2014, notching 11 saves to become the program’s single-season and all-time leader in the category. Brother and freshman Tyler Weekley opened his CSU career with 24 scoreless innings to add another highlight to the Bucs’ impressive 2014 season.
Ward joined the CSU family prior to the 2012 season from Big South foe Liberty, where he spent the past two seasons working as an assistant for the Flames. Ward also coordinated the Jim Toman Baseball Camps and field maintenance while in Lynchburg. In his first season, Ward helped guide Liberty to a school-record 42 victories and the runner-up position in the Big South Championship. Under his guidance, Flames player Curran Redal earned 2010 Big South All-Conference honors. Ward previously spent four years working with the North Charleston Dixie Youth Majors, piloting the team to state championships in 2007 and 2008 and World Series Championships in 2006 and 2009.
A former Hanahan High School standout, Ward played for Clemson University from 2007-09. He hit .375 for the Tigers in 2008 and was a two-time member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll. Ward graduated from Clemson in 2008 with a bachelor’s of science in economics and a master’s degree in economics, also from Clemson. Ward married the former Jessica Tuckman. The couple resides in Mount Pleasant.