One man. Four teams. Leading the Augusta University cross country teams to conference, regional, and national recognition, Adam Ward expanded his commitment to the department by accepting the head coaching role for men’s and women’s outdoor track & field. Ward is one of the most tenured coaches in Augusta as he enters his 15th season.
In June, 2012, Augusta University Athletics announced the establishment of women’s and men’s outdoor track & field programs, which are both coached by Ward.
Augusta’s track teams combined for 11 Peach Belt All-Conference honors and five All-Region accolades in 2018. In 2017, Ward led 12 Jaguars to All-Conference honors and seven to NCAA All-Region. Both the men’s and women’s teams finished top 10 in the region rankings in 2018 and 2017. The men won the Victor Icebreaker Duals on March 3 in Rome, Ga.
The 2015-16 season saw Ward’s squad compete as Augusta University for the first time. The Jaguar men and women combined for 11 top-10 finishes, six top-five places, and combined for seven on the PBC All-Academic Team. Levonta Reddick was named the Peach Belt Conference Track Athlete of the Week on March 22, 2016, while Kiana Kelly was named the Female Freshman of the Year at the Augusta University Athletics Awards Banquet. It was second-consecutive FFOTY award for women’s track and field.
In their third full year of competition in 2014-15, the men's track team earned their first national ranking ever with No. 28 by USTFCCCA. Sean-Michael Rand was named PBC Freshman of the Year and the team posted the best finish ever at PBC Championships (4th). The Jags set 13 school records and three were named PBC All-Academic.
In the women's third year in 2015, they finished in the top 10 in all six regular-season meets and took sixth at PBC Championship. The ladies set 14 school records over the year and three were named PBC All-Academic.
In 2013, Ward assembled the first outdoor track & field team that the university had ever witnessed. The Jaguars booked eight meets in their inaugural season, facing off against Division-1 titans like the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Duke, and Clemson. The Jaguar men took sixth at the Peach Belt Conference Championships and the women eighth.
On April 16, 2013, Jaguar runner Jaiden Brandt earns All-Region honors by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Ward’s commitment to the program helped lead Dustin Ross to the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Pueblo, Colo., on May 23.
A 2001 graduate of Murray State University with a B.S. in Exercise Science, Ward served as a volunteer assistant coach with the Jaguar cross country program in 2003. He assisted the Murray State cross country program in a similar role in 2001. He is a USA Track and Field Level II certified coach. Ward earned his master’s degree in Health & Physical Education from Augusta State in 2005.
Ward is a former president of the local running club Augusta Striders and as an at-large member of the Augusta Sports Council Events and Planning Committee, he was involved in the design of the course for the Augusta Chronicle Half-Marathon that was first staged in October, 2008.
A former Peach Belt Conference representative to the USTFCCCA (U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association) on the DII Executive Council, Ward is also an at-large member of the USTFCCCA Division II Awards Committee.
He is married to the former Ashlynn Young of Augusta, Ga. They are the parents of a son, Carter, and a daughter, Mary Blake.
Michael Romano started his first season as a graduate assistant for Augusta University men’s and women’s outdoor track and field in August 2016. Romano assists head coach Adam Ward will all aspects of the track and field programs with emphasis on throwing events.
From Harrisburg, Penn., Romano attended Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Va., and was a double major in mathematics and economics. He lettered in track and field from 2012-2016 and was named All-Conference in 2016 for shotput, discus, and the hammer throw. The 2016 Most Valuable Field Athlete earned fourth place in weight and indoor shotput and fifth for the javelin.
Romano earned the 2015 Most Improved Athlete award at Lynchburg and helped his squad to a conference championship for indoor and outdoor track and field in 2014 and 2013.
In 2015 he was the top student at the scholarly showcase for the school of business and economics and grabbed the Walter G. Mason Award for economics and finance.
Born in Harrisburg, Romano is the son of Andrew and Beth Romano and brother to Sara and Drew Romano. Romano is pursuing his master's degree in business administration.
Taylor Browning joined the Jaguars as a graduate assistant for the men’s and women’s track and field programs in the 2016 season. He began his master’s program in August 2016 and is perusing his M.S. in kinesiology.
From Carbondale, Colo., and born in Reno, N.V., Browning graduated from the University of Redlands in Redlands, Calif., in 2015. He was a four-year letterman at Redlands and picked up an All-American accolade as a sprinter. Browning earned seven-time All-Conference honors, was a three-time conference champion, and a five-time National Qualifier. During his tenure he received the Dixon Farmer Character Award Winner for academics, sportsmanship, and leadership.
Browning has one older brother Cory and a twin brother Zach who ran track for Colorado State University. Browning will assist Jaguar head track and field coach Adam Ward will all phases of the program and will help with the men’s and women’s team.