Germany: Braunschweig New Yorker Lions sign Jim Ward as DC

The Braunschweig New Yorker Lions of the German Football League have announced the signing of Jim Ward as their new defensive coordinator.

Ward will replace longtime defensive coordinator Dave Likins.

Braunschweig, winners of five GFL titles since 2013, failed to reach the German Football League semifinals in 2021 for the first time since 2012.

The 64-year-old Ward, from Canyon, Texas returns to Europe after missing the 2020 and 2021 seasons due to the pandemic. In 2019, Ward led the Fehervar Enthroners to their first ever Hungarian Football League championship in his first year at the helm of the team. He had spent the two previous seasons coaching the Carinthian Lions in Austria’s Division 1 after having been head coach of the Prague Black Panthers in the 2015 and 2016 seasons playing in both the Austrian Football League and the Czech league. The Black Panthers won back-to-back Czech titles while also reaching the Austrian semifinals in 2015.

Jim Ward coaching the Prague Black Panthers in 2015 Photo: Svatopluk Samler

In 2013, he guided the Örebro Black Knights to the Swedish Superserien title game. In his first two seasons coaching in Europe, Ward was at the helm of the Seinäjoki Crocodiles in Finland’s Maple League and led the team to a 19-4 overall regular season record, taking the team to the Maple Bowl championship game in 2011 and the semifinals in 2012.

Ward has spent many years as a high school football coach in Texas while also coaching various positions as the University of Mary Hardin Baylor (NCAA Div. III) and Carson Newman College (NCAA Div. II).

Needless to say, Ward is happy with the signing:

“I knew right away when the position of DC opened it would be one of the better jobs in Europe. Coach Tomlin and I were in communication for several weeks and I felt like it was a great fit. I was thrilled to get the offer and am looking forward to getting started with a great organization. I have told everyone, when they ask about the team, that it is the “Alabama” of European football.”


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