It's a new edition of 3 Cheers. It's my series profiling unique athletes, coaches, and teams.
Bill Ward announced his retirement Thursday after spending 29 seasons leading the Pelahatchie football program.
I asked coach to reflect on his career and his decision.
"It didn't come easy, it was one of those things I've been thinking about for a few years now. I've got grandkids, I want to go watch them play. They're playing in one town on Friday night, I'm over here. That's one thing I for sure want to do, go watch them."
Ward led the Chiefs to 20 playoff appearances, 8 district titles, 2 state finals appearances, and the 2001 1A State Championship.
"The state championship, you've always got to rate that one high up. At the time, no body in Rankin County had won a state championship. I came here 33 years ago from Kosciusko, Mississippi. I thought in my mind I would be here 1-2 years and I was going to be on to something bigger and better. Good Lord had a different plan. Here I am 33 years now, and this is home, this is like family to me here. I've been coaching my players kids, I've even coached a grandkid or 2 of my players I've coached. I hope I've been like a father figure to their children, that's something that's just priceless to me. If I could have left something to mold boys into men, that's what every coach's dream is at the end. The memories and the stories they got, and especially the love I got yesterday when I made this announcement, money can't buy it."
Here's 3 Cheers to The Big Chief.
3 Cheers: Previous Stories
IF YOU HAVE A STORY IDEA CONTACT WLBT/WDBD AT (601) 960-4426 OR EMAIL US AT News@WLBT.COM.
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, MS 39201