CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern University interim head baseball coach Adam Ward has been elevated to permanent head coach of the CSU Baseball team, Athletic Director Hank Small announced on Thursday afternoon.
Ward has served as the Buccaneers' interim head coach since January 26 when former head coach Stuart Lake resigned to accept a position as the Coordinator of Baseball Administration and Director of Player Development at the University of South Carolina.
"We are pleased to announce a multi-year agreement with Coach Adam Ward," Small said. "He stepped into a very challenging position just before the season began and everyone associated with the program believes that he has the leadership skills to lead our team forward. With the addition of the Singleton Complex and the development of this young team, we are optimistic that we can challenge the top programs of the Big South Conference."
"I am excited for this opportunity given to me by Charleston Southern and for the chance to continue to recruit talented players with character to this great university and develop them to the best of our ability once they are on campus," Ward said. "More immediately, I'm looking forward to seeing what is in store for our current group of players who have worked extremely hard and shown tremendous perseverance this spring."
He continued, "This is a good group that is capable of playing well in these final seven regular season games and making a run in the conference tournament."
CSU started the 2017 season strong winning their first three weekend series and posting a six-game winning streak on their way to opening the year with an 8-2 record. The Bucs topped Delaware State, VCU, and Hofstra during the stretch and opened the month of March receiving votes in both the NCBWA and USA Today polls.
The Bucs have continued their success this season picking up Big South series wins over UNC Asheville and Radford. CSU swept the visiting Highlanders at the CSU Ballpark on April 21-23 for the Bucs' first conference sweep since the 2015 season.
Among CSU's highlights in the 2017 season has been the depth and reliability of the Bucs' pitching staff. CSU has been among the nation's best at setting down the opposition this year with the Bucs posting 20 double-digit strikeout games as a pitching staff this season. CSU currently ranks 13th nationally with 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings on the season and 18th overall in the country with a 2.93 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The Bucs have set the single-game team strikeout record twice this season according to current archives. CSU first set the record on April 7 with 16 against UNC Asheville. The Bucs followed up with a school-record 17 strikeouts on April 25 in the Bucs' win over Wofford. CSU struck out the side three times in the contest against the Terriers.
Ward is in his sixth season with Buccaneers. He was named the Associate Head Coach prior to the 2016 season before receiving the interim title in the spring of 2017. During his time at CSU, Ward has worked predominantly as the pitching coach and has helped the Bucs set numerous school records while evolving into one of the premier staffs in the Big South Conference year-in, year out.
Ward joined the CSU family prior to the 2012 season from Big South foe Liberty, where he spent two seasons working as an assistant for the Flames. Ward also coordinated the Jim Toman Baseball Camps and field maintenance while in Lynchburg. In his first season, Ward helped guide Liberty to a school-record 42 victories and the runner-up position in the Big South Championship. Under his guidance, Flames player Curran Redal earned 2010 Big South All-Conference honors. Ward previously spent four years working with the North Charleston Dixie Youth Majors, piloting the team to state championships in 2007 and 2008 and World Series Championships in 2006 and 2009.
A former Hanahan High School standout, Ward played for Clemson University from 2007-09. He hit .375 for the Tigers in 2008 and was a two-time member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll. Ward graduated from Clemson in 2008 with a bachelor's of science in economics and a master's degree in economics, also from Clemson.
Charleston Southern continues the 2017 season this weekend at the CSU Ballpark as the Buccaneers host Presbyterian for a three-game series starting Friday night. The first game of the series will be streamed live via ESPN3 with first pitch set for 7 p.m.