Ward completes Kennedy's staff

Torrey Ward, who coached at Jacksonville State the past two seasons, will join Andy Kennedy's new hoops staff at Ole Miss. He completes Kennedy's assistant coaching staff and will join Owen Miller, Bill Armstrong and Michael White. Read about it inside.

Torrey Ward will complete the new men's basketball coaching staff under Head Coach Andy Kennedy.

Torrey coached the past two seasons at Jacksonville State and has close ties to the current staff of Kennedy, Michael White, Bill Armstrong and Owen Miller, who were all hired recently.

In a theme akin to "It's A Small World," Ward was in White's wedding and Armstrong was the best man in Ward's wedding. Ward also played at Kennedy's alma mater, UAB, in college while Andy was an assistant coach there.

Ward is expected to unofficially start his duties at Ole Miss today, but he has to go through the official hiring process before anything official will be released by the university.

There was no current picture of Ward on the Jacksonville web site. The only one we could find is of his playing days. We'll get a current one soon.

The following is his bio from last year's Jacksonville media guide:

Torrey Ward • UAB, 2001 • Second season

Torrey Ward begins his second season on the Gamecock coaching staff for Mike LaPlante, continuing to handle many of the administrative duties, including travel, and assist with recruiting.

A UAB Class of 2001 graduate with a degree in Justice Sciences, Ward was a four-year lettermen for the Blazers in the always tough Conference USA from 1996-2000. A starter as a sophomore through his senior year, Ward scored almost 800 points, but was known throughout the league for his defensive skills. He was voted as the Conference USA Runner-up Defensive Player of the Year to Kenyon Martin.

The Birmingham, Ala., native played in 110 career games and recorded 74 starts and helped the Blazers to a Divisional Championship his junior season and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The team finished with a 22-10 record after falling in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Iowa.

Honored as the C-USA Player of the Week three different times during his career, Ward continued his career after college.

Ward played in the Chinese Basketball Association for the Shanghai Sharks, where he was a teammate of the NBA's Yao Ming, and helped lead the Sharks to the CBA Championship. In 2002, as a member of the Shandong, the Bulls won the conference championship before falling in the finals of the CBA. Ward finished fourth in the league in scoring and also won the league's slam dunk contest.

Ward played his high school basketball at Birmingham's Phillips High School, where he averaged 19.5 points and 7.5 rebounds as a senior. He won the ASHAA Final Four Slam Dunk Championship as a senior in 1996 and was a member of Phillips' Alabama Class 5A state runner-up team in 1994-95.

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