High School Sports

Providence High’s new football coach plans to drive ‘energy bus’ to success

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Myers Park’s Elijah Bowick has committed to Virginia Tech and has his team two games away from its first N.C. 4AA state championship berth. Bowick and the Mustangs play at Richmond Senior Friday.
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Myers Park’s Elijah Bowick has committed to Virginia Tech and has his team two games away from its first N.C. 4AA state championship berth. Bowick and the Mustangs play at Richmond Senior Friday.

Providence High didn’t look far to find its new football coach.

The Panthers hired former assistant Wes Ward to replace Brad Bowles, who left for a job in Charleston. Ward, 30, is currently Providence’s strength and conditioning coach as well as its assistant track and field coach.

Ward was a head track and powerlifting coach at a Georgia high school. This will be his first head football coaching job.

“There were dozens of excellent candidates,” said Ken Konstanty, Providence athletics director. “We look through a lot of resumes but interviewed just four. And I just think with Will, we won’t miss a beat, and we’ll keep on trucking like we have the past few years under coach Bowles. The kids are familiar with (Ward). He’s a hard worker and he’s got a great support staff already in place.”

Ward got his coaching start at his alma mater, Bremen High near Atlanta, after he graduated from Jacksonville State in 2011.

Three years ago, Ward moved to Charlotte with his wife, Emily, who took a job closer to her family.

“I got hooked up with Brad Bowles through a mutual friend,” Ward said, “and our relationship took off.”

And Ward doesn’t plan to change too much of what Bowles was building. After going 8-15 in his first two seasons, Bowles was 15-10 in his last two, including a 9-4 record in 2017, which tied for the third-most wins in school history.

“I think toughness is a think we’ll take pride in,” Ward said. “Providence has always played with a toughness and we want to continue to do so. We’re going to work hard and we have kids wiling to do what it takes to win.

“We have a saying, that we’ve got everybody on the energy bus, and the bus is headed towards the same goal — to conference championships and making the playoffs. Some people get on the bus and some get off, but whomever is on, the destination is the same.”

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