Coach Ward honored at National Prep Wrestling Championships
Coach Steve Ward was honored with the Neil Buckley Outstanding Service Award at a ceremony during the National Prep Wrestling Championships, February 24-26, in Bethlehem, Pa. The award is presented annually to a coach by vote of the national membership (more than 200 schools in 15 states), in recognition of selfless contributions to the sport of wrestling over a career.
“Knowing Steve,” said Rich Gorham, wrestling coach at Phillips-Andover and a member of the board of the National Prep Wrestling Tournament, in an email to RL Athletic Director Tony Teixeira, “he may have been too modest to tell you. I have coached against Steve for many years, and can think of no better example of sportsmanship and character.”
Steve Ward has been the head wrestling coach at the Roxbury Latin School since 1976. His career dual meet record is 386-67-4. At the peak of his coaching career, his teams went 132-7-1 over a 12-year period and won the Graves-Kelsey League title many times. He has coached numerous teams to conference titles, conference and Prep New England champions, and several National Prep All Americans, including a Prep National Champion.
“Although it is hard to imagine, his personal qualities outweigh his tremendous coaching ability,” says long-time opposing coach, Steve Toubman (Noble & Greenough). “Steve is an intelligent individual with great integrity. Whether in the practice room, dealing with wrestlers or parents, or during competition, Steve always makes decisions that uphold honesty and sportsmanship.”
Coach Ward was honored as the New England Prep Coach of the Year in 2004, and in 2009 was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame – Massachusetts Chapter.