Bellarmine College Preparatory named its track in honor of Terry Ward '63, longtime coach at SI and Athletic Director at Bellarmine. Former SI teacher, Fr. Bob Shinney, S.J., blessed the new track and football field in September and, on March 22, before the SI and Bellarmine track and field meet, the new track was formally named.
"I thought it was very important that this dedication included the St. Ignatius coaches and their team where it started for me," said Ward. "In my short speech, I thanked SI and its coaching staff as well as my fellow coaches at Bellarmine. I was pleased to be pictured with some of the greats from past SI track teams who now continue the tradition of coaching the young Wildcats. For me, having my family and friends in attendance at this premier Jesuit track meet — two of best squads in the WCAL, both with student athletes and coaches who understand the Jesuit philosophy and implement it, made for a special day.
Below is the text of Terry Ward's speech following an introduction by Bellarmine Athletic Director Joe Romano.
Joe, thank you for your wonderful words and for running a strong athletic program based on Jesuit ideals.
Thanks to all of you for attending this celebration of this new all-weather track that will benefit all the members of the Bellarmine, Presentation and Notre Dame track and field teams. It will also serve as a recreational facility for the students and faculty members of Bellarmine for many years to come. I want to thank all of you for attending today, coaches, friends, alumni, administrators and especially members of my family.
This track and new field would not have happened without the financial support of many of you. I want to thank all of those who contributed to the building of this track and special thanks to our development office, Brian Adams, Brian Christensen, and from the alumni office Matt Zuniga for overseeing the project and the energy put forth for its completion.
To my family: Thank you Mary for putting up with me for forty-five plus years. You have been my rock and your understanding about how important coaching was to me – you allowed me to follow my dream of coaching young men and women. During each week of the season, however, Mary would ask the same questions – what day is the meet – how long is the meet – when will you be home and remember you do have three sons at home – (Good Irish Guilt). To my sons Terence, Stephen and Patrick – thanks for letting me be your coach for all four years of your high school experience. I learned more from the three of you then you did from me. The best part of that experience is that we are good friends today. To my brothers: Phil, Kevin, Bernie, and Brendan, and my sister, Mary, thanks for your love and support. On a side note, in the 1970's, my sister Mary assisted me with the track program at St. Ignatius and for that she received a letter award. Special thanks to my mom and dad who put up with six kids and told us to always do the right thing.
To my fellow coaches: Patrick, Derrick, Warren, Joey, Leo and especially Dan who work day in and day out to make their athletes believe that hard work and dedication will won the day. To Catherine, Craig, Meagan and the Presentation staff for their efforts in building a first-class program. To the Notre Dame staff: you have developed a group of young women athletes and leaders.
A few words about St. Ignatius coaches and athletes. As an SI grad, I am so proud of he way each athlete on the team carries themselves with competitive spirit. My great grandfather graduated from SI in 1878 and my niece graduated in 2014. In between many other relatives attended this Jesuit school. I coached at SI for 11 years and it was an honor I cherish today, but the real honor is seeing those men who competed during those years on the track team coming back and coaching today. These men – Rob Hickox '72, Aldo Congi '72, Peter DeMartini '76, along with Tom Lagomarsino '72, Jack Cremen '79 deserve to also be honored. I would be amiss it I did not mentioned Br. Charley Jackson, S.J., a friend who coached at both schools with me for over 15 years.
My first two years, I commuted from San Francisco to Bellarmine. I would leave the fog, enter the Sunbelt, teach and coach and head home to the fog. I rarely saw my sons, so Mary and I started to consider moving. The question of moving came to a head when I was coaching cross-country alone on a Saturday. The meet was in Golden Gate Park and I got in my car, drove to San Jose, got the young men on the bus and headed back to San Francisco. After the meet, the bus drove back to San Jose and then I jumped in my car and headed home. We needed to move and we did to Saratoga,
This is a great day for me – a track named in my honor, competition between two wonderful Jesuit schools that accept nothing but excellence in all that they do – and watching athletes of today compete with friends and family in attendance.
Finally, I have in my hand an envelope that was given to me by the firm – Wade, Cobb, Moodie, and Prietto. I now have opened it and the winners are the athletes competing today. I hope at the end of the day all of you on this track and field, have a PR, personal best, and that at the end of the season you can all reflect, a true Jesuit word, and honestly say that you gave your all, in practice, in the weight room, and at every meet and that you thank God for the talent he has given you.
I am so proud of my 50-plus years with the Jesuits – I thank you from the bottom of my heart – now let's have a great meet.