Former NFL player tapped to lead St. Andrew’s

Former NFL player tapped to lead St. Andrew’s


St. Andrew’s Episcopal School announced this week that former University of Mississippi and Tampa Bay Buccaneer football player Channing Ward has accepted the role of head football coach.

Coach Channing Ward was a 5-star recruit as a defensive end from Aberdeen High School and he was also named a Dandy Dozen. Ranked as a top player in the state, he received offers to play from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama, LSU, and Auburn. During his career at Ole Miss, he played in 54 games from 2012 - 2016, during which time the team was Compass Bowl, Music City Bowl, and Sugar Bowl champions. After completing his time at Ole Miss, he spent two years in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and later in the XFL with the St. Louis Battlehawks. Since returning to his home state, Coach Ward has served as the defensive line coach for Aberdeen High School, New Albany High School, and Coahoma Community College. He may be most famous for causing a fumble in the Ole Miss/ Alabama Game in 2014, paving the way for Ole Miss’s victory over the Crimson Tide.

“His coaching references are outstanding, and all speak highly of his character. He is described as someone who deeply cares about his players,” says St. Andrew’s Head of School Kevin Lewis. “We are thrilled to have him leading our football program and excited about its future.”

“When I first came to St. Andrew’s, it felt like a family, and I am a family guy. I am excited to be here, meet the guys, and I’m ready to get to work,” Coach Ward shares.

Coach Ward will begin his coaching responsibilities immediately as he leads spring training practices beginning next week on St. Andrew’s Roger W. Stribling Field’s artificial turf. Installed in August 2023, the field has elevated St. Andrew’s athletics to a higher standard with a surface that includes the latest in advanced technology to support safety and temperature control. St. Andrew’s athletes compete in the MHSAA and have won 124 state championships. Many alumni are currently playing at the collegiate level in baseball, basketball, football, swimming, tennis, track, volleyball, and soccer.

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