March 31, 2011

OXFORD, Ohio - Matt Ward has been named the new assistant women's soccer coach at Miami University, RedHawks head soccer coach Bobby Kramig announced Thursday. Ward joins the staff immediately, serving primarily as the goalkeepers coach, and replaces Gary Grant, who resigned last month.

"I am thrilled to welcome Matt Ward to Miami Soccer," Kramig said. "Matt brings impeccable credentials as a goalkeeper coach to our program and, having played for (Florida Southern) Coach Hugh Seyfarth, I am confident that he understands the values and priorities of our program."

Ward brings four years of coaching experience and four years of playing goalkeeper collegiately to the Miami program. Last year, Ward was an assistant men's soccer coach at Earlham College in Richmond, Ind. while also working with the women's team's goalkeepers. For the men, he served as the recruiting coordinator, planned practices and developed the team's off-season conditioning program while guiding the team to a 1.32 goals-against average.

On the women's side at Earlham, he helped the goalkeepers set a single-season team record with 12 clean sheets, including 11 by Megan Holthaus, which is an individual school record. The Quakers also set the single-season GAA record under Ward's watch with a 0.89 GAA.

Prior to Earlham, Ward served two years as a graduate assistant coach at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Md. while earning his master's degree. While at FSU, he coached both the men's and women's teams and assisted with recruiting, monitored athletes' academics and developed the off-season program for the men's team.

In 2009, the Bobcat women won a league title, led the conference in GAA (0.53) and tied a school record for shutouts (15) under Ward's tutelage while in 2008 the women set school records for fewest goals allowed (8) and also pitched 15 shutouts. On the men's side in 2008, FSU also led the conference in GAA (0.64) and whitewashes (15) while both the men's and women's keepers were named all-conference.

Ward got his start in coaching as an assistant high school coach at Lakeland High (Fla.) in the fall of 2007 and has worked several soccer camps over the summers as a goalkeeper instructor, including camps at Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Penn State.

A native of Naples, Fla., Ward played four seasons at Division II Florida Southern College as a goalkeeper from 2003-06. While at FSC, he played under Seyfarth, who was an assistant coach at Miami under Kramig for seven years prior to taking over at Florida Southern. Kramig was also a four-year goalkeeper for the Moccasins from 1978-81 and a two-time MVP.

"I'm real excited to be at Miami and start working with the girls" Ward said. "I hope to continue with some of the successes they've had in the past and continue to build on them."

Ward earned his Master of Education degree in interdisciplinary studies from Frostburg State in 2010 and a bachelor's degree in both marketing and sports management from Florida Southern in 2007. He received his National Goalkeeping Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in March of 2009 and a National Diploma from the NSCAA in January of 2010.