ELF: Milano Seamen sign Jim Ward as new HC

The Milano Seamen, who just completed their first season in the European League of Football, have announced the signing of former Helvetic Guards defensive coordinator, Jim Ward, as their new head coach.

The Seamen finished the 2023 season with a 2-10 record winding up last in the Central Conference.

The 66-year-old Ward, from Canyon, Texas ran the defense for the Helvetic Guards, one of the newest members of the ELF in 2023 and in addition to his head coaching duties, will also serve as defensive coordinator for Milano. He had moved to the Guards from the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions in the German Football League where he served as defensive coordinator in 2022.  The Lions defense proved to be one of the few bright sparks for the team that season, ranking third overall in the GFL for points and yards allowed.

Prior to that, Ward led the Fehervar Enthroners to their first ever Hungarian Football League championship in 2019 in his first year as Head Coach. 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 at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor (NCAA Div. III) and Carson Newman College (NCAA Div. II).

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