After a national search that led to nearly 250 applicants, from Division I head coaches to National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Champions, Kristie Ward was selected to lead the Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) Buccaneers as the women’s head basketball coach in April 2015. Ward enters her second season at the helm of the FSW women's program in 2017-18.
Ward and the Buccaneers wrapped up the 2017-18 campaign with 26-6 overall record (8-1 Suncoast Conference). The Purple and Aqua earned the program's first Suncoast Conference championship and secured their second consecutive berth to the NJCAA District VIII Championship. As a team, the Bucs finished 14th in the country in offensive rebounds per game (17.3), but they also ranked in the top 50 nationally in multiple categories, including points per game (79.0, 17th), total points (2,529; 18th), field goal percentage (44.0 percent; 20th), total rebounds per game (45.0; 23rd), blocks per game (4.5; 28th) and steals per game (11.3; 46th).
In her first season at Florida SouthWestern, Ward led the Purple and Aqua to a 20-11 overall record. The Buccaneers, ranked No. 5 in the final NJCAA Region 8 Coaches’ Poll, earned a berth to the NJCAA District VIII Championship in the first year of the program with a second place finish in the Southern Conference (9-3). The Bucs also won 11 of their last 12 games to close the regular season and were one of four schools in the state with both its men’s and women’s basketball teams represented in the State Tournament (Central Florida, Broward, Tallahassee).
The Bucs has four student-athletes receive postseason accolades in 2016-17, as Erna Normil, LaToya Ashman and Amanda Oliver all earned Southern Conference First Team selections and Dajsha Hall picked up a spot on the Southern Conference Second Team.
Ward, who brought 20+ years of coaching knowledge and experience at the junior college level to FSW, spent four seasons on the sidelines for Florida State College of Jacksonville and prior to arriving at FSCJ in 2011-12, Ward was the head coach at Northwest-Shoals Community College from 1995-2011.
She was named Mid-Florida Conference Coach of the Year twice, had three consecutive 20-plus winning seasons (while being nationally ranked) and won back-to-back Mid-Florida Conference Championships at FSCJ.
During her time at NW-Shoals Community College, Ward had an overall record of 384-141 (.730) and her team had a 100 percent retention rate and a 95 percent graduation rate. She helped over 60 players earn four-year scholarships and took her team to the National Championship game, while being ranked number one in the country. Ward was also a five-time Coach of the Year in her region and a four-time Coach of the Year in the Alabama Community College Conference.
- Nova Southeastern University: Doctor of Education
Double concentration - Higher Education / Organizational Leadership
- University of North Alabama: Education Specialist Degree
- University of North Alabama: Master's of Arts in Education
- University of North Alabama: Bachelor's of Science in Education
- 1995-2011: Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Northwest-Shoals Community College
- 2011-2015: Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Florida State College at Jacksonville
- 2015-Present: Head Women’s Basketball Coach, FSW
|All-Time Record:||506-201 (22 yrs.)|
|FSW Record:||46-17 (2 seasons)|
|FSCJ Record:||76-43 (4 seasons)|
|Northwest-Shoals CC Record||384-141|
|Southern/Suncoast Conference Regular Season Record (at FSW):||17-4 (2 seasons)|
|State Tournament Record (at FSW):||1-2 (2 appearances)|
|Suncoast Conference Coach of the Year||2018|
|NJCAA All-American||1 (Tina Stephens - 2018; Honorable Mention)|
|NJCAA All-Region VIII/FCSAA All-State Selections:||2|
|Suncoast/Southern Conference All-Conference 1st Team Selections (at FSW):||7|
|Suncoast/Southern Conference All-Conference 2nd Team Selections (at FSW):||2|
|Players That Transferred To NCAA Division I (at FSW):||3|
|Players That Transferred To NCAA Division II (at FSW):||1|
|Players That Transferred To NCAA Division III (at FSW):||2|
|Players That Transferred To NAIA (at FSW):||1|
Florida State College at Jacksonville
- Three consecutive 20-plus win seasons while nationally ranked
- Back-to-back Mid-Florida Conference Champions
- Two-time Coach of the Year – Mid-Florida Conference
- Three seasons - 15 players awarded four-year basketball scholarships
Northwest-Shoals Community College
- Women’s Basketball team 100% academic retention rate over 16 year period
- Women’s Basketball graduation rate over 16 year period – 95%.
- Over 60 players awarded 4-year basketball scholarships
- Competed in the finals of the National Championship game
- Five time Coach of the Year – Region XXII
- Four time Coach of the Year – Alabama Community College Conference
- Overall coaching record – 384-141 (.730)
- Numerous top rankings in the NJCAA poll with the highest spot at number one in the country.
What People Are Saying About Dr. Kristie Ward
“Kristie has a tremendous passion and energy for two-year college basketball. She’s intense and she fights for her kids. She has lived it and she can teach it. In the four years she has been with us, she took a program that was in the doldrums and made it a Top 15 program.”
-George Sanders, FSW Assistant AD/Sports Medicine & Compliance (Former Athletic Director at FSCJ)
“Kristie is ultra-competitive and a true teacher of the game. She knows how to build a program to make it successful on the court and off the court for her athletes. She gets it.”
-Mary Tappmeyer, Former University of North Florida Women’s Basketball Coach
“She is very dedicated to the game and to her team. She puts a lot of heart into all that she does, making the team more of a family. For me, she has inspired me and helped me make career choices that have led to where I am today. FSW is really lucky to have her because I know she’ll build a strong team and a winning tradition.”
-Brittany Garner, Assistant Coach and Former Player, Florida State College at Jacksonville