Thad Ward
Thad  Ward

Assistant Coach/Wide Receivers

Alma Mater, Year:
Central Florida, 2001


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Veterans Tommylee Lewis and Juwan Brescacin lead the way at wide receiver


NIU Football Team Opens Second Week of Spring Ball

Juwan Brescacin makes marked improvement to open second week


2014 Signing Day Press Conference Quotes

Carey discusses 2014 recruits


NIU Huskies 2013 - Spring Practice Notes

Practice #1


NIU's Carey Adjusts Coaching Staff Duties

New Faces and New Roles for Huskie Coaches


NIU defeats Northwestern, 23-15

The Huskies played a dominant second-half of football in Evanston to defeat the Wildcats, 23-15.


SIGHTS & SOUNDS: NIU Football Releases New Uniforms

It seemed like just another team meeting in the McCareins Room at the Yordon Center Saturday, August 16. Take a look at behind the scenes footage of the Huskies unveiling of their new uniforms on August 16, pranking the team before revealing them.


Weekly Football Press Conference: Eastern Michigan

Week 9 football press conference with Head coach Rod Carey and players Perez Ford, Matt Krempel and Dechane Durante.


Northern Illinois Dominate Purdue, 55-24

Highlights from the Huskies historic 55-24 win over the Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium.


NIU defeats Iowa, 30-27

NIU rallied for a 30-27 victory over Iowa Saturday.

Thad Ward enters his third season coaching the wide receivers at Northern Illinois University in 2015.

Ward’s two years leading the Huskies’ pass catchers have produced great results, highlighted by the success of two-time All-Mid-American Conference selection Da’Ron Bown, who was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2015 NFL Draft.

In 2014, Brown led NIU’s receiving corps in receptions (68), receiving yards (1,065) and receiving touchdowns (6) as the senior thrived under Ward’s coaching to help the Huskies win the MAC championship.

Ward also mentored NIU’s 2013 first team All-MAC honoree Tommylee Lewis as the speedster caught 86 passes for 715 yards.

At Western Michigan in 2012, Ward developed Jaime Wilson into the Broncos’ leading receiver en route to MAC Freshman of the Year honors. Wilson caught 67 passes for 792 yards and six touchdowns while averaging nearly 80 receiving yards per game.

Ward went to WMU after one season at Gardner-Webb University where he served as passing game coordinator in addition to coaching wide receivers. Prior to that, he spent six seasons as running backs coach at Western Illinois University. The Leathernecks had a 1,000-yard rusher in each of his six seasons, and the 2010 WIU offense ranked second in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in points per game and was third in yards per game.

In May 2009, Ward participated in the NCAA Football Coaches Academy, and the NFL’s Minority Internship Program, where he worked with the Baltimore Ravens.

At WIU, Ward helped tutor Herb Donaldson, who led Division I in rushing and scoring in 2008. He broke the school rushing record and was named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year. Donaldson twice gained over 300 yards in a game and averaged 149 rushing yards per game to rank fifth in the country.

Ward began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Florida A&M University in 2002, then spent the 2003 and 2004 seasons in the high school ranks at Tallahassee (Fla.) Rickards High School, where he coached wide receivers and defensive backs in 2003 and served for a time as interim head coach in 2004.

As a player, Ward spent three seasons at UCF, where he caught 43 passes for 446 yards as a senior while averaging 40.5 receiving yards per game. He joined the Knights’ program after playing two years at Coffeyville Community College, where he was an All-Jayhawk Conference selection in 1998 as a redshirt freshman.

The Tallahassee, Fla. native was an all-state receiver at Godby High School as a senior. He and his wife, Jocelyn, have two daughters, Jayda and Journie, and a son, Thaddaeus, Jr.


2013- NIU (Wide Receivers)
2012 Western Michigan (Wide Receivers)
2011 Gardner-Webb (WRs/Passing Game)
2005-10 Western Illinois (Running Backs)
2003-04 Tallhassee Rickards H.S.
Interim Head Coach (2004)
WRs/DBs (2003-04)
2002 Florida A&M (Graduate Assistant)


2014 Boca Raton Bowl (NIU)
2013 Poinsettia Bowl (NIU)
2010 FCS Playoffs (Western Illinois)
2004 Florida Class 3A Playoffs (Rickards H.S.)


1999-2001 Central Florida (Defensive Back)
1997-1998 Coffeyville C.C. (Defensive Back)


College B.S. Central Florida, 2001
High School Godby, 1997


Birthdate Sept. 17, 1978
Birthplace Tallahassee, Fla.
Hometown Tallahassee, Fla.
Family Wife, Jocelyn, daughters Jayda (15) and
Journie (7), and son Thaddaeus, Jr. (10)

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