Eastern Michigan's Ware New Central High Football Coach

Returns To High School Level For First Time In 13 Years

Friday, March 07, 2014 - by Larry Fleming

KiJuan Ware, secondary coach at Eastern Michigan University this past season, has been named head football coach at Central High School, Pounders athletic director Jerry Fomby confirmed Friday afternoon.

Ware, originally from Hartford, Conn., where he was a three-sport star in football, basketball and baseball and earned all-conference honors on the gridiron and the diamond, was at Eastern Michigan for one season, but in the midst of a coaching change was not retained by new Eagles coach Chris Creighton.

He sought other positions at the college and high school level, but Central was the only high school job he applied for.

The last time Ware coached high school football was in 2001 at Weaver High in Hartford. While there, Ware helped Weaver win state championships in 1997 and 2001. At Weaver, Ware taught math and coached football for five years.

“I’ve been coaching for 17 years and had some great moments in college,” Ware said in a telephone interview with Chattanoogan.com. “The last few years have been challenging because I’ve been away from my wife and daughter.

“My daughter (Kalyx) is 4 now and needs daddy around more. My wife has a great career and I want her to chase her dreams a little bit.”

Michelle Ware is currently an academic advisor at Notre Dame University.

Ware said he would assume his new duties “as soon as possible” and wants that to be before the Purple Pounders begin spring practice.

Coach Ware said he officially accepted Central’s offer Friday morning and Fomby was thrilled to hear the good news.

“We’re very happy to have KiJuan as our head football coach,” Fomby said. “He was the number one candidate of the search committee and we’re fortunate to have a coach of his caliber come to Central High School.

“We are confident he’s the person to lead our program to the next level.”

Prior to Ware’s one season at Eastern Michigan, in Ypsilanti, Mich., he coached running backs in 2011 and was the Leathernecks’ offensive coordinator in 2012.

Two years ago, Western Illinois running backs posted five 100-yard rushing efforts in 2013, including two against North Dakota State, the only time all season the FCS national champion allowed that to happen.

In 2012, WIU ranked third among Football Championship Series teams with a 94 percent red zone efficiency rating.

Ware joined Western Illinois after two years at Miami (Ohio) where he helped orchestrate one of the best turnarounds in NCAA Division I history.

The Redhawks went from 1-11 in Ware’s first year to 10-4 in 2010 and was part of the Mid-American conference championship team that defeated Middle Tennessee State University in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.

Miami went from averaging 71 rushing yards per game in 2009 to 98.3 yards in 2010 while recording five more rushing touchdowns (14 in 2010). He coached two-time MAC East Player of the Week and Most Valuable Player of the 2010 MAC title game (Thomas Merriweather).

Before his time at Miami, Ware spent the 2008 season at Notre Dame working as an offensive intern. He worked with the running backs and special teams as the Fighting Irish won the 2008 Hawaii Bowl. Ware was also responsible for film breakdown, scouting reports, playbooks and other day-to-day office duties.

He spent two seasons at each Dartmouth (2004-05) and Georgetown (2006-07) working as the recruiting coordinator and with the receivers before his time at Notre Dame.

Ware began his collegiate coaching career working at his alma mater Springfield College for two years. During his time there, he worked with both running backs and receivers. Springfield captured consecutive Freedom Football Conference championships and back-to-back Division III rushing titles.

During his undergraduate career at Springfield, Ware was a two-sport standout in football (quarterback) and baseball (pitcher and first baseman). He graduated in 1997 with a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and computer science. He earned his master's degree from Springfield College in physical education and athletic administration.

In January 2000, he was selected as a Fulbright Scholar - chosen for his academic merit and leadership potential, and studied in Tokyo. Ware was one of 15 selected to participate in the NCAA Football Coaching Academy during the summer of 2006. In June 2010 Ware attended the NCAA Expert Coaches Academy.

Now, Ware is focused on starting a new career at Central, which competes in the TSSAA’s District 6-AA.

“I was really impressed with the people and students at Central High,” Ware said. “They have caring people there, people who care about students and the school has a family atmosphere. It’s not all about athletics. It’s the young people.”

Ware replaces John Allen, who left Central to become the head football coach at Powell High near Knoxville, a team that finished 5-5 in 2013 missed the state playoffs for the first time since 2000.

Under Allen, the Pounders went 5-6 last season, losing to Sequoyah, 34-3, in first round of the Class 4A state playoffs.

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com)



Dalton State Cross Country Teams To Run Saturday

Dalton State cross country teams will join more than 40 teams and an estimated 300-325 runners per gender that are expected Saturday morning as the University of South Carolina Beaufort’s home course, which starts and finishes on the Hardeeville school campus. Larry Kimball, USCB cross country coach, organized the Sand Shark Invitational 2007.  “We’ve created a monster,” ... (click for more)

Juster Takes Low-Pro Honors At Windstone

Gregg Juster shot 71 on Monday and took low-pro honors in the Chattanooga Chapter TN PGA Pro-Am at the Windstone Golf Club.  Monday's Results: Low Professional : 1st: (71) Gregg Juster 2nd: (77) Doug Amor Professional Skins: Gregg Juster #6, Doug Amor #12 & #17,  David Owens #!4 & #15 Amateur Skins: Jay Potter #1, Erik Atkinson #4, Jeff Ott #5, ... (click for more)

Architect/Contractor Selected By Erlanger For New Children's/Women's Hospital

HKS has been selected as the architect and McCarthy as the construction manager for a new Children’s and Women’s Hospital at the Erlanger campus on East Third Street. The Atlanta team competed against another Atlanta group for the major construction project. Erlanger officials announced Monday that $11.5 million is being set aside in a debt restructuring for the new $30 ... (click for more)

Westfield Charged In Burning, Torture Of Kitten At Cleveland

An arrest has been made in the case of a kitten who was burned and tortured in Cleveland, Tn. At 12:50 p.m. on Tuesday, Gary A. Westfield, 31, of Cleveland, was placed in custody on a warrant obtained by Lt. Robert Harbison and Detective Matt Jenkins of the Criminal Investigations Division. Westfield was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, which is a Class E felony. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Election Day Fable

Every day I am peppered with emails that friends send to me from across the country so I am unsure of where the fable you are about to read originated. But with early voting for the November general election now in full swing, I think everyone who will -- or will not -- take part in freedom’s greatest privilege should read this story because I believe there is a great lesson contained ... (click for more)