Eric Ward announced Monday that he will step down as Georgetown College’s director of athletics, effective June 30. “I think it’s in my best interest and the best interest of the college,” he said. Ward has been director of athletics at Georgetown for 10 years. During his tenure, he has overseen improvements to the baseball field, hired full-time coaches in positions that had been only part-time, and put in countless hours with “the pedal to the floor,” he said.
“I’ve had a great experience here,” Ward said. “I’ve met a lot of great people and worked with great coaches, and I think together, we’ve made a lot of positive changes.”
His job has become increasing difficult, he said, with economic challenges, not only across campus, but across the nation.
Georgetown is considering a move to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which would substantially affect the college’s athletic programs.
“With everything that is going on at the college, there is a lot of turmoil and misinformation out there,” he said. “I think me actively pursuing other opportunities would be another distraction. ... If I’m going to pursue other opportunities, I need to get out of the college’s way.”
And it has not been easy lately for Ward to find time for a personal life.
“It can be overwhelming at times,” he said. “I’m very aggressive on how I approach things. I’ve feel like I’m at the point to where I’ve done as much as I can for athletics.”
His announcement came Monday morning before a room full of coaches that he had hired and a couple of veterans he calls “the “backbone of athletics” at Georgetown.
“The most significant thing I think I’ve done since at Georgetown was looking around that room and seeing coaches like Derek Willis, Nick Griffen, Andrea McCloskey, Brian Karlet and Thomas Thornton and knowing they were my hires,” Ward said. “And then I look at Bill Cronin, Happy Osborne and Susan Johnson, who are the foundation to athletics at Georgetown College. This program is in great hands. It was then I realized that my greatest accomplishment was people. These coaches, at the end of the day, are great with the athletes. Our wins, our accolades are great, to say the least. But they mean nothing if our coaches can’t take care of the kids, and that’s what they do. That’s what we did together.”
Ward said he hasn’t decided whether he will stay in athletics administration or pursue something new.
“I’m 50 now,” he said, laughing. “I think I have at least 10 to 15 more years of good, hard work in me.”
But for the next 10 to 15 years, he wants to have the opportunity to spend more time with his wife, Missy Ward.
“I have a wonderful wife at home that has been so patient in allowing me to put the time I’ve needed to into this position,” Ward said. “I really look forward to being able to devote more time to her.”