A native of Tennessee and graduate of Oklahoma State University, Kevin Ward helped take Division II Ouachita Baptist from new program to national power. In 2014, he coached Ouachita Baptist to a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Division II Championships and was named the Division II coach of the year in just the program's fourth year. Now Ward is heading east to take over as the head coach at Army.
On Episode 91 of the Short Time Wrestling Podcast, Kevin Ward answers these questions and more:
- You're originally from Tennessee, how difficult was it for you to get exposure to the top programs?
- It's not very often a coach moves from the Division II ranks to the Division I ranks. What are some things you feel make you a guy who can maybe change the culture when it comes to hiring coaches?
- Ouachita Baptist was your first head coaching job on the college level and you built a program into a force in Division II and you did it without transfers. How much work goes into building a team to win quickly without relying on the quick fix.
- We had Kerry Regner from Williams Baptist on a recent episode of Short Time (shorttimepodcast.com/68) and he talked about the impact Arkansas businessman Greg Hatcher has had on his program already and they haven't even wrestled their first match. How instrumental was Hatcher in helping get Ouachita Baptist on board to start wrestling?
- Sometimes finding a job is knowing some of the right people in the right places. For you, that was a bit different, you knew some people, but they weren't necessarily where you think they'd be. Explain your route to Army.
- There's a lot of proud wrestling history with the Armed Forces, but when it comes to one of the biggest sports rivalries regardless of Sport, Army-Navy ranks near the top. Navy has OWNED the series in wrestling … and it's not been close. Navy leads the all-time series 48-5-5. Since 2001, Navy's won them all. NCAA titles and All-American finishes are great, but how much are you going to want to beat Navy?
- What are your thoughts on the NWCA Convention?