Western Illinois tabs Ward as defensive coordinator

Brian Ward has been named Western Illinois' new defensive coordinator, head football coach Mark Hendrickson announced Tuesday.

Ward was Drake University's defensive coordinator last season when the Bulldogs posted a 9-2 record and shared the Pioneer Football League championship.

Drake ranked second in the FCS in rushing defense (77.2 ypg), third in red zone defense, fifth in sacks (39), seventh in scoring defense (17.8 ppg), 10th in total defense (295.4 ypg allowed), 13th in tackles for loss (7.7) and 23rd in pass efficiency defense.

Ward coached against Western Illinois in 2010 while he was the defensive backs coach at North Dakota State.

A 1997 graduate of McPherson College, Ward spent three seasons as its head coach from 2007-09. He compiled a 17-14 record and led the Bulldogs to a 9-2 record and their first berth in the NAIA Football Championship series in 2009.

He also has coach at Wabash College, Glendale Community College and Tulsa Union High School.

Western Illinois finished with a 2-9 record and was last in the MVFC with a 1-7 mark last season.