By Garth Shanklin
With the resignation of former head coach Scott Lefker in the past, the Williamsburg football program has turned to the future by naming offensive coordinator Chad Ward the team’s next head coach.
Ward is familiar with the Wildcats, having graduated from the school while also serving as an assistant coach for the Wildcats on two separate occasions. Ward said though he may have left the program once, there’s nowhere else he could imagine being right now.
“I’ve been an assistant coach at Williamsburg for the last three years, and I was also an assistant in 2009, 2010 and 2011,” Ward said. “I left a few years after Coach Lefker was hired, but I came back. I always wanted the job. I told everyone there’s only one place I would ever be the head coach, and that’s Williamsburg.”
In terms of the transition from Lefker to Ward, the Wildcat head coach said there hasn’t been much to do yet, with it being the holidays. He has been warned by Lefker that this amount of downtime won’t always b
“There hasn’t been much going on now since it’s the Holidays,” Ward said. “We’re still good friends and on good terms. He talked to me about stuff that has to be done, all the paperwork. Any kind of info he can sent me, he has. Anything he can help me with, he’s been a big help. He’s still there, I can call him at any time and he’ll help me out. He was in my wedding, I’ve known Coach Lefker for a long time.”
Ward said his biggest task now is to increase interest in the Williamsburg football program to raise the number of players on the team.
“The biggest change we have ot make is to get more kids out,” Ward said. “Last year we finished the season with seven or eight upperclassmen. In the last game we only had two seniors and four juniors dressed. We have a big sophomore class, so we can definitely build on them, but we have to get kids out from the other classes.
One thing that should help the Wildcats add players to their roster is the opening of the new Abrams Stadium.
“That’ll be great, to get a new weight room,” Ward said. “We have two really small weight rooms at Williamsburg, we only use one and the basketball team uses the other one. It’s not a big room, and at times we have to share with the track team. It’s tough, and that’s been a tough thing at Williamsburg since I’ve been here.”
Ward also had a few people to thank for helping him get to where he is today.
“I said it before, but I’d like to thank my wife,” Ward said. “I wouldn’t be in this position without her. It’s tough to be a wife of a coach of any kind, she’s done this for 15-20 years.”
Another person Ward made sure to think was current Western Brown football coach Don Sizer.
“Sizer’s where I started coaching,” Ward said. “He’s taught me a lot of stuff. I’ve coached with Sizer a long time and he’s taught me a lot of stuff. I’d like to thank those two for sure, along with Coach Lefker for what he’s done.”
With this coaching change, Goshen’s Ryan George becomes the only coach to have served as the head coach at this school for longer than three seasons. Bethel-Tate’s Jeff Essig and CNE’s Jeremy Fishback enter the third year of their regimes this fall, while Patrick Burke (New Richmond), Nick Ayers (West Clermont), Scott Donaldson (Batavia) and Milford’s Tom Grippa prepare for their second season at the helm in 2018.