After he built a Section 9, Class B football powerhouse, the plug has been pulled on Rich Ward by the Marlboro Central School District.
Ward was relieved of his duties as head coach, according to published reports, after a text exchange, between himself and a parent, grew testy and went awry.
“Not at this time,” said Ward, in an email, when asked to comment.
Ward led Marlboro to six sectional titles in eight years, winning five in a row from 2011-2015. The Dukes, under Ward, also twice reached the state semis.
Ward, a Marlboro grad who teaches physical education at Cornwall Middle School, was well liked by sports fans and parents in the district because he built a successful winning program at his alma mater.
On the sideline, with his fiery coaching style, Ward could be hard on his players and officials. Ward was subject to a federal lawsuit, brought by parents and players, in 2013, over verbal and physical abuse. A judge later dismissed the lawsuit.
Jonnah O’Donnell, Marlboro’s athletic director, would not comment on Ward’s dismissal, but this district, through Superintendent Mike Brooks’ office, issued this statement.
“Rich Ward has been a storied part of our football program and he has added to the important victories of our football team. MCSD and Mr. Ward are parting ways. The school district wishes Mr. Ward the best and thanks him for his service to our football athletes.”
By Bond Brungard