More in Sports
Ward to be inducted into Maine Amateur Wrestling HOF
Tom Ward will be inducted in the Maine Amateur Wrestling Hall of Fame this summer.
DIXFIELD -- Tom Ward is known as the man in black while standing on the sidelines. However, there was a period when Ward directed the show and those endeavors have been recognized.
Ward will be inducted in the Maine Amateur Wrestling Hall of Fame this summer. He will be joined by Doug Gilbert, Maynard Pelletier, Jon Kane and Rusty Smith.
The Farmington native initially made his mark on the wrestling mat when he won an individual Maine high school wrestling championship at 155 pounds for Mount Blue in 1972. Ward went on to compete at University of Maine and won a New England championship as a freshman and was co-captain as a senior.
Ward was offered an interim position at Rumford in the fall of 1977 right out of college, serving as a physical education instructor, ''He was a hit in the school system right from the start because of his tremendous dedication, hard work, and yet easy going demenor,'' said MAWA HOF coach Jerry Perkins of Ward, who was assistant coach on the 1978 Rumford state championship team. ''Now, I have to mention that I was most impressed with his wrestling background and personal knowledge of man's oldest sport. Ward was especially good with his "cradle" technique and personal experience, which was an asset when he returned as head coach at Mount Blue. ''That was a great experience," said Ward, regarding time at Rumford. ''I learned what it took to build a championship team from Jerry Perkins.''
Within two years, Ward had built a competitive program at Mount Blue in wrestling and was challenging for the state championship.
The Cougars became a powerhouse by winning back-to-back state championships in 1983 and 1984. Ward was named wrestling coach of the year after both of those championships.
Ward was encouraged to go into administration beginning with being the athletic director for Mt. Blue High School and the following year as asst. principal/athletic director.
''It was those years that convinced me of the importance and value of participating in co/extra-curricular activities,'' said Ward.
''Through athletics, I learned the value of hard work, discipline, collaboration goal setting and how to be a leader.''
Ward is currently the superintendent of RSU 10, since the consolidation four years ago; having earned B.S. Education, Master's in Educational Administration, and Doctorate in Educational Leadership. But the Temple resident was named recently to lead RSU 9 in the same role.
Ward worn numerous hats through out a storied career in education and that is why he's such a strong supporter of any programs that teach these. Ward firmly believes that someday he will return to coaching.