Ward hired to be CMU men’s golf head coach
Matt Ward has been involved in the game of golf for more than 20 years and couldn’t be more enthusiastic about his latest endeavor.
The former professional caddie, teaching professional and sales manager is now the Colorado Mesa University men’s head golf coach.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the program,” Ward said. “This is fantastic. It’s hard to wipe the grin off my face. It’s been a whirlwind.”
Ward was an assistant coach with the Jamestown (North Dakota) College men’s and women’s programs for several years and was an assistant coach at Minnesota State-Mankato for two years, including 2010 when the Minnesota State Mavericks qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships.
He has worked as a teaching professional at several golf courses, a professional caddie for a U.S. Open qualifier and worked in sales with Taylor Made Golf.
“We were fortunate to have the opportunity to hire a full-time coach that will be able to continue the strong tradition of success the team has experienced,” CMU Athletic Director Tom Spicer said in a news release. “We are excited about the addition of Matt Ward, who brings both knowledge and experience to the program as head coach.”
Ward takes over for Paul Brown, who coached the program on a part-time basis the past five years. Brown couldn’t commit to the position on a full-time basis, but he will remain involved with the CMU men’s and women’s programs as a consultant, Spicer said. Brown owns and operates Monument Oil Company.
Ward met with Spicer on Wednesday afternoon and was told to keep the program stable.
“I don’t even know my team yet,” Ward said. “I’m meeting with recruits coming in. I want to win as much as anybody, so I feel some pressure, but it’s more the excitement and challenge.
“I look to make a competitive team here. The facilities here are second to none. If a kid comes to campus, he’s staying here. There are too many things to offer here.”
Ward is confident he can keep student-athletes at Mesa once they commit to enrolling at the university.
Colorado Mesa had one senior on the team the past year, and Ward said others are considering transferring.
“We’ve got a couple kids looking to transfer to different schools,” Ward said, but he didn’t know who for sure. “That’s understandable. I wasn’t their coach. I didn’t bring them in. Tom mentioned that, too. I need to recruit my own players.”
One player he hopes will stay is Colin Prater, who qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships this past season and received the Phil Mickelson Outstanding Freshman Award.
Ward will lean on Brown and meet with the local golf course professionals to get a feel for area players, but he also has his eyes on out-of-state players.
In addition to being the full-time men’s coach, Ward will teach in the Colorado Mesa kinesiology department.