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Martin Ward "hangs up the cleats" as Men's Soccer Coach
2014-11-28

If there is any name that could be argued to be synonymous with soccer at Providence University College, it would be that of Martin Ward.

After 21 years of faithful service, Head Coach Martin Ward is announcing that it is time to “hang up the cleats” as head coach of the men’s soccer program.

Coach Ward comments, “I have always felt that God put me in the right place at the right time to develop the men’s soccer program at Providence. I now feel that the time is right to hand the leadership off to someone else who can inject new energy into the program. I know that God is preparing someone else to take over and I am excited to see what the future brings.”

It is impossible to measure the impact that Coach Ward has had on the soccer program, on his players’ lives, the institution as a whole, and most importantly on the Kingdom of God.

Director of Athletics, Scott Masterson notes, “Martin has been a mentor, friend, and father figure to many of the players he has coached. I have always been impressed and challenged by Martin’s heart for his players and his passion for using the sport of soccer as a vehicle through which he can have a positive impact on the lives of those he has come into contact with. He is also one of the most humble men I have ever met and I have learned, and continue to learn, a lot from him.”

Over the past 21 years, Martin has coached a total of 9 All-American players, has an overall record of 184 wins, 92 losses, and 25 ties, has lead his teams to 8 CPAC/MCAC Championships, 10 NCCAA North Central Region Championships, 10 NCCAA National Championship appearances, 4 of which were top 4 finishes and one 2nd place finish, and 7 NCCAA North Central Region Coach of the Year awards.

But Martin would be the first to say that these accomplishments were not because of his efforts alone.

“In my time here I have been blessed to coach so many players who not only have skill and passion but who also possess the quality of character that makes them top quality players. The relationships we have built and the memories of each season are a treasure for me. We have an environment at Providence that also makes coaching a pleasure and that needs to be recognized. The administration, the maintenance and grounds crews, and especially the athletic directors have always been supportive and worked tirelessly to provide excellent facilities and equipment. I would especially like to thank Gary Schellenberg, Steve Screpnek and Scott Masterson in this regard. Our dual affiliation with MCAC and the NCCAA has been a big part of our success and Darel Lepp played a big part in that. I have had great co-coaches, assistant coaches and managers over the years and I couldn’t have given what I have to this program if it wasn’t for the constant support and love that my wife Heather has given me and the team. I feel very privileged to have been part of what has been, and will continue to be, a great team.”

To the man who has given so much of his time, effort, heart, faith, and love, it is hard to just say ‘thank you.’ But the relationships, friendships, memories, stories and changed lives will serve as the best testament to how much of impact Martin has had and just how thankful we all are to have had the opportunity to be part of the era of Coach Martin Ward.

As Coach Ward pointed out, this provides an opportunity to continue building this program on the foundation that was laid. Applications for Head Coach of the Men’s Soccer program will be accepted immediately and Providence Athletics will look to fill the position as soon as a suitable candidate is found. A detailed job description can be found on the Staff Job Postings page on our website.

 
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