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Ward resigns as head football coach at SEB

    Mike Ward, head football coach at Southeast Bulloch High School, has resigned. In his first year at the Brooklet school, Ward coached the Yellow Jackets to a 2-8 record and informed the team of his decision Thursday after practice.
    “It was an emotional 30 minutes,” said Ward. “I myself even got a little emotional. But I told the kids this had nothing to do with them, it was my decision. Their efforts over the last month of the season were just as great as they were the first month of the season. This has nothing to do with results.”
    Ward has been in the coaching field for 19 years and at Southeast Bulloch for six. The main factor in his decision to leave after just one season as head coach was a simple one.
    “Lack of help,” he said. “I just didn’t feel there were enough certified coaches on the staff.”
    Ward said he begin to seriously consider the move after SEB’s 48-8 loss to Westside of Augusta on Sept. 29. Ward said there were just too many fundamental problems and little mistakes that could have been corrected if the team had position coaches on the staff.
    Offensive Coordinator Charlie McGuire and defensive coordinator Tim McPherson are more than qualified to coach according to Ward, but outside of those two, Ward was left with little experience in the rest of his staff.
    “I just felt like (SEB) and the Board of Education had chances to fill vacancies with coaches and they didn’t do it,” he said.
    Ward added that athletics director Bobby Costlow and Principal Joni Walker-Seier understood Ward’s decision.
    “Support from the administration was good,” said Ward. “And Bobby has apologized for not being able to help. I’m not being forced out in any way, it‘s just time to move on.”
    Ward estimated that about 80-90 percent of high school football coaches are physical education teachers and that when one of four P.E. positions opened at the school there might have been a good shot at landing a coach. Instead, the position went unfilled. Those kind of decisions played the pivotal role in Ward’s resignation.
    Another factor that was brought into the equation was Ward’s son, linebacker Josh Ward, who played his last game Friday night and will graduate in the spring. Ward’s decision to take the SEB job in the first place was the chance to coach Josh during his senior season.
    As for the future, there’s no word as to who will replace Ward. He suggested McPherson, a coach who spent 17 seasons at Crisp County and has almost 25 years of coaching under his belt. Ward said he’ll keep his options open and would like to stay in coaching. He hasn’t ruled out the possibility of returning to North Carolina, either.
    “The toughest part would be leaving this area,” he said. “Our family likes the Statesboro and Brooklet area and they care a lot about SEB. The folks have really embraced this football team.”

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