Lorenzo Ward's reputation as an outstanding coach and recruiter continues to grow as he begins his seventh season on Frank Beamer's football staff at Virginia Tech. Ward oversees Tech's cornerbacks and free safeties.
During his time with the Hokies, Ward has coached five all-BIG EAST players and one all-ACC selection, produced a secondary that helped Tech finish among the national defensive leaders five of the last six seasons and spearheaded the recruiting of the nation's top high school football player.
His work with the secondary in 1999 contributed to the Hokies finishing No. 3 in total defense and No. 7 in pass efficiency defense. In 2000, Tech tied for third nationally in interceptions and during the 2001 season, the Hokies ranked second in total defense, third in pass efficiency defense, eighth in pass defense and tied for seventh in interceptions. In 2002, Tech led the Division I-A ranks in interceptions with 24. Last season, the Hokies finished fourth nationally in pass defense, tied for fourth in interceptions and ranked seventh in pass efficiency defense.
Ward was instrumental in Tech's signing of Pennsylvania running back Kevin Jones in February 2000. Jones, the most highly touted player ever to sign with the Hokies, was rated the top high school football player in the country. Jones was named the BIG EAST Conference Rookie of the Year in 2000 and as a junior broke three Tech rushing records on the way to becoming a consensus All-American and a first-round pick in the NFL Draft.
Five of Ward's cornerbacks at Tech - Anthony Midget, Ike Charlton, Ronyell Whitaker DeAngelo Hall and Jimmy Williams - earned all-conference honors, as did free safety Willie Pile. Midget was a first-team All-BIG EAST pick and Charlton a second-team selection in 1999, while Whitaker was second team in 2000 and first team in 2001. Hall and Pile were second-team picks in 2002. Hall became a first-team All-BIG EAST selection and a second-team A-A pick in 2003 and was the eighth overall player taken in the NFL Draft. Hall and Pile were semi-finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award in 2002 and 2003, respectively. Williams was a first-team All-ACC pick last season.
Prior to joining the Tech coaching staff, Ward was a coach at UT-Chattanooga and Alabama. He was named the defensive coordinator at UT-Chattanooga in 1998 after serving as the Mocs' running backs coach in 1997. Prior to working with the running backs, Ward was the defensive backs coach.
An Alabama native, Ward starred for the Crimson Tide from 1986-90. He helped lead Alabama to a 33-15 record and a Southeastern Conference Championship during his career. He was also tabbed Special Teams Player of the Year by The Sporting News in 1990 as the Tide's unit ranked No. 1 in the nation. Ward played on four bowl teams, helping lead 'Bama to two Sun Bowl wins.
Ward served two seasons as a graduate assistant at Alabama before spending one season as an assistant coach at Newnan High in Newnan, Ga. He joined the UTC staff as the secondary coach in 1994.
Nicknamed "Whammy" because of his fierce tackles, Ward graduated from Alabama in 1990 with a bachelor's in physical education. He is married to the former Tara Tubbs. The couple has one son, Lorenzo Donovan Ward, Jr., who is 9.
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