Irvine Valley athletics is proud to announce Conor Ward as the new head coach of the men's soccer program.
Ward replaces legendary coach Martin McGrogan, who started the program in 1990 and captured California Community College Athletic Association State Championships in 1993 and 2003 along with Orange Empire Conference titles in 1990, 1991, 1993 and 2015.
McGrogan recently retired at the end of the 2021-22 school year at the college.
"Having seen the number of players and coaches Martin McGrogan has helped in all areas of their lives during his fantastic carer at IVC, I am extremely honored to be given the job to take over the program following his retirement," Ward said.
A full story on McGrogan's legacy and accomplishments at Irvine Valley with both men's soccer and women's badminton will be posted next week.
"I hope to have the same impact on these student-athletes as my good friend and mentor Martin McGrogan has had over the last 30 years," Ward said. "I will be forever grateful for the opportunity he handed me to assist him at IVC."
Ward has spent the last three seasons as an assistant under McGrogan with the Lasers.
And McGrogan was always excited to have the dynamic Ward on board with the program.
"What I have learned from him on a day-to-day basis has prepared me well for this next challenge," Ward said.
Ward grew up in Scotland and played for two successful youth clubs – Hutchison Vale FC and then Murieston United CFC.
He represented West of Scotland and County teams at all age groups.
Ward moved on to play between pro clubs – Hearts FC and Falkirk FC at the academy level and then at the semi pro level with Whitburn FC. He lifted the County Cup at Livingston FC Stadium.
Ward has also been a junior varsity coach at Long Beach Wilson and worked as a Director of Coaching for AYSO United. He also currently works for Pro Soccer Consulting as Director of Performance and as part of the International and Domestic recruitment team.
He has a degree in Football coaching, youth development and management from the University of South Wales and a UEFA B license.
"Looking to the future, I can't wait to get started officially and build on the strong foundations that are in place," Ward said. "The facilities and support here at the college for coaches and athletes are second to none and I hope we can help an even larger number of players progress to four-year schools.
"With the level of our conference and the transfer rates and academic opportunities at Irvine Valley being so high, it is a great chance for local student-athletes to learn, grow and develop before moving on. We have some fantastic talent returning to the squad along with our incoming freshman. I am highly motivated to help them in their career paths on and off the field."
Ward enjoys spending his time off the field with his wife Lauryn, daughter Andie and son Cooper.