Jim Ward enters his 17th season as the head coach of the Connecticut College men’s ice hockey program in 2019-20.
Ward recently piloted the Camels to a breakthrough season in 2017-18 and was named the NESCAC Coach of the Year for his efforts. The team finished second in the NESCAC standings, which is its highest finish in program history, and swept the league’s three major awards with sophomore goalie Connor Rodericks earning NESCAC Player of the Year laurels and Paul Capozzi being tabbed the NESCAC Rookie of the Year. In addition, Rodericks became the program’s first-ever CoSIDA Academic All-American and ACHA All-American after ranking tied for fourth nationally in save percentage (.937), tied for ninth in shutouts (3) and posting an impressive 2.16 goals against average.
The 2014-15 squad also enjoyed a stellar campaign under Ward’s direction. The Camels completed their season with a 14-10-2 overall record, finished third in the league standings, earned the program’s first home playoff game, and advanced to the semifinal round of the NESCAC Tournament for the first time.
In 2013-14, the Camels made another great turnaround by rebounding from an 0-7 start to finish with a 9-7-2 record over the final two months of the season. Ward was voted the NESCAC Coach of the Year for the first time.
Ward has been an educator and coach for 32 years and has worked from the Prep to the NCAA Division I level. Prior to Connecticut College, he served as the lead assistant coach at Princeton University in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference for three years with an emphasis on recruiting and coaching the defense. Before joining the Princeton program, Ward spent seven years at the Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts as the director of the boys hockey program, college counselor, and biology teacher.
Before his time at Northfield Mount Hermon, Ward was the lead assistant at Union College in Schenectady, New York. He played a pivotal role in the elevation of the Union program from the Division III level to Division I status which later culminated in a national championship years later. He began his coaching career at Norwich University in Vermont, spending three seasons on the Cadet staff and helping to lead the program to the NCAA Tournament.
A 1983 graduate of Canton ATC, Ward was a forestry major and a member of two NJCAA National Championship teams. He was also named an NJCAA All-American after his second season.
Ward then transferred to SUNY Geneseo, where he captained the Ice Knights to their first ECAC West playoff appearance and was named to the All-SUNYAC and All-NYCHA teams. He graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1995 and received a master’s degree in athletic and physical education administration from Norwich in 1987.