There were 39 head coaches among those who applied for the Gahanna Lincoln High School football coaching job after it came open in early November, including applicants from five states.
The name that stood out to school administrators was Bruce Ward, who had been Beechcroft’s coach the last five seasons.
Ward officially was named coach at a special school board meeting Dec. 17. He will be introduced during halftime of Gahanna’s boys basketball game Saturday, Dec. 21, at home against Independence.
“Bruce Ward is already a member of the Gahanna community, living in Blacklick with his wife, Meghan, and two children, Bella and Brennen, both attending Blacklick Elementary,” athletics director Justin Sanford said. “I say that since it was an important factor in our consideration for the next head football coach. We want our head football coach to be immersed in our community and appreciate the pride of Gahanna both inside our hallways and throughout our community.”
Ward replaces John Snoad, who led the Lions to a 32-30 record with one playoff appearance in six seasons. Gahanna went 3-7 this fall.
Ward, who played for Fairmont State and later assisted at his college alma mater, was an assistant at Beechcroft for nine years. He was serving as the Cougars’ defensive coordinator when he took over as coach in 2009 for Tom Dunlap, who led the program for 23 seasons.
Beechcroft went 37-14 under Ward and made the Division II, Region 7 playoffs in 2011 and 2012. The Cougars had won at least a share of three consecutive City League-North Division titles before going 6-4 overall and tying Northland for second (5-2) behind Brookhaven (6-1) this fall.