Canku Ota Logo
Canku Ota
Canku Ota Logo
(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
pictograph divider
Ward Only Native Lacrosse Coach For Major College
by Stacie Guthrie - Cherokee Phoenix Reporter
credits: photos by Andy Meng - Stageshot Photography

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Marty Ward, head coach of the men’s lacrosse team at Florida Southern College, is a Cherokee Nation, Iroquois citizen and the only Native American head lacrosse coach at a major university in the country.

Ward enters his third season as head coach for FSC in Lakeland with an 18-12 overall record in his first two seasons.

Under Ward, the Moccasins have posted back-to-back winning seasons and reached the Deep South Conference Championship both years.

The Mocs finished the 2012 season receiving votes in the final United State Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Coaches Poll after posting a 10-6 overall record and 6-2 mark in the conference championship. The year was highlighted by a six-game win streak at the end of the season going into the conference title game where Ward’s team lost.

The Syracuse, N.Y., native said it’s an honor being one of the first Native American lacrosse head coach in the NCAA.

“My heritage has helped me embody the kind of man, the kind of husband, the kind of son, the kind of brother that I want to be,” Ward said. “It’s made me find myself a little bit…understand that I give thanks to everything, every day.”

Ward said he remembers playing lacrosse his whole life and could not think of anything that suits him more.
“Lacrosse is a way of life,” he said.

This past summer, Ward served as an assistant coach served for the Iroquois Nationals Under-19 Program that won a bronze medal at the 2012 Federation of International Lacrosse U-19 World Championships in Turku, Finland.

He is also set to play goalie for the Iroquois Nationals at the 2014 World Lacrosse Championship in Denver, a position he played in 2006 for the team. Ward said playing for the Iroquois team and just to be able to wear the Iroquois jersey on the field is an honor.

“The Iroquois National team represents the creators of the game lacrosse,” he said. “As it being a Native game, this was really a special honor for me playing with them in (20)06.”

The Iroquois Nationals are the first Native American lacrosse team to compete on an international level. The team consists of players from the six nations of the Iroquois. In 1998, the team began competing in the World Lacrosse Championship.

However, after the 2014 world tournament, Ward said he plans to focus more on the sport’s coaching side.

“This is going to be my last world games to play in as a player,” he said. “I’m more in the coaching realm now than the playing realm. So this is my last opportunity to get out there and compete for a medal with the Iroquois Nationals team.”

In 2012, he served as an Iroquois Nationals assistant coach. At the World Lacrosse Championship, the team beat the United States team for the first time, a great accomplishment considering it was Team USA’s second loss in 40 matches for the year.

In college, Ward played goalkeeper at Limestone College in South Carolina. He posted a 55-9 career record at the school and was a two-time team captain.

In 2008, he served as a Limestone College student assistance coach before being hired as lacrosse coach in 2009 at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in S.C.

pictograph divider
Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us
Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us
pictograph divider
  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  
Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000 - 2013 of Vicki Williams Barry and Paul Barry.
Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo
The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the
Copyright © 1999 - 2013 of Paul C. Barry.
All Rights Reserved.

Site Meter
Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!