College baseball Hall-of-Famer, Gary Ward returns to New
Mexico State for his ninth year to be an assistant for his son Rocky
Ward. He is the hitting coach for the Aggies and brings an extensive
amount of experience to the team. This is his second stint as an
assistant coach. He served as the Aggies' top assistant in 2000 after
being out of coaching for three years.
Ward was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame
July 4, 2008 in Lubbock, Texas. Ward was inducted into the 2008 College
Baseball Foundation Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a collegiate coach.
Ward was then inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of
Fame, Jan. 7, 2011.
He coached at Oklahoma State from 1978 to 1996 and at New
Mexico State from 2001 to 2002. Ward led OSU to 16 straight conference
titles, 17 NCAA Regional appearances and 10 trips to the College World Series.
He compiled a record of 953-313-1 in 19 seasons in Stillwater. In 2002, he led
New Mexico State to a Sun Belt Tournament Championship and an NCAA appearance.
He finished with a career record of 1,022-361-1, which ranks 24th on the NCAA
all-time wins list.
Ward coached the Aggies in 2001 and 2002 and picked up his
1,000th win as a head coach while with NM State. In 2001 the Aggies
posted a 32-23 record, the program's most wins since 1995. During that
stint as a head coach, Ward was the second winningest active coach in Division
I baseball, the sixth winningest of all-time and the 24th coach to win 1,000
Ward, who was a former baseball and basketball star for
NMSU, led Oklahoma State to 10 College World Series appearances in 19 seasons
as head coach (1978-96). His OSU teams earned a record seven consecutive
CWS berths from 1981-87 and were national runners-up in 1981, 1987, and 1990.
The Cowboys qualified for 17 regionals, including 16 in a row from 1981-96
under Ward. He led OSU to 17 Big Eight championships and two Big Eight
Western Division titles in 19 years. Ward also led them to 16 consecutive
conference championships. Included in his tenure at OSU were 18 40-win
seasons. All 18 of those teams were ranked nationally at the end of the
season. Twelve of his teams finished in Baseball America's top-10.
Ward coached 15 first-team All-Americans and a total of 58
(first, second and third teams). Among players coached by Ward were Robin
Ventura, 1988 Golden Spikes Award winner and Baseball America's Player of the
Decade for the 1980's, and Pete Incaviglia, the NCAA's career home run leader
and Baseball America's Player of the Century. Ward helped to develop
Bryan Marquez as one of the best hitting shortstops in the nation as he was
named to six different All-American teams in 2009.
Before he coached at OSU, he served as head coach of Yavapai
Junior College in Prescott, Ariz. from 1971-77, where he led the school to
national championships in 1975 and 1977 and earned NJCAA Coach of the Year both
years. Yavapai went 240-83 under Ward. He also served as an
assistant basketball coach there from 1969-75.
From 1963-69, Ward was the head baseball and basketball
coach at Collinsville (Okla.) High School, posting a 99-40 mark over six
seasons on the diamond. He was also an assistant football coach
there. During the 1962-63 season, he served as a graduate assistant
baseball coach at NM State as well as the school's freshman basketball head
Ward competed in both baseball and basketball at NM State
from 1960-62 and played two seasons of baseball under Presley Askew.
During the 1960 season he led the team in win-loss record as a pitcher and
ERA. He also played basketball under Askew and averaged 9.2 points and 5
rebounds in two seasons. Ward was inducted to the New Mexico State
University's Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as an athlete.
Prior to playing for NM State, Ward played baseball and
basketball at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. At Romona (Okla.) High
School, Ward competed three years in baseball, basketball and track.
Ward has produced a number of baseball instructional
videotapes that have been sold all around the world. At Oklahoma State,
he was founder and director of the Mid-America All-Star Baseball School in
Stillwater. More than 1,000 amateur baseball players attend the camp
Ward was born Sept. 9, 1940 in Ramona, Okla. He
graduated from Ramona High in 1958 and from New Mexico State in 1963. He
earned his master's degree from NM State in 1968. Ward has been married
to the former Catherine Gardner for 45 years. Ward has three children,
Rocky, Roger and Sherri.