Charlie Ward, Jr. is a husband, father, mentor and coach who embodies the principles of integrity, hard work and faith in God. He inspires adults and youth alike in the way he carries himself and how he shows up in the world. Described as a once-in-a-lifetime athlete and a once-in-a-lifetime human being, Charlie’s character and his commitment to serve others are deeply respected in the sports community and far beyond. His calm demeanor and powerful leadership message of preparation, perseverance and patience set strong examples for business leaders, organizations, students and families.
Following a nine-year career coaching high school football, Charlie was named head coach of The Florida State University School’s basketball team in Tallahassee, Florida in April 2018. He travels the country delivering his inspirational Charlie’s Chalk Talk motivational speeches. He also has a "Chalk Talk with Charlie" featured segment every Thursday on Fox 49’s Live in Tallahassee at 7pm and on Facebook where he gives in-depth sports analysis and talks about community events.
Listed among the most outstanding college athletes in modern history, Charlie, a two-sport athlete, was a stellar quarterback in football and an equally impressive point guard in basketball at Florida State University (FSU). During his senior year, he won over thirty awards, including the Heisman Trophy, set nineteen school and seven Atlantic Coast Conference records, subsequently leading the FSU Seminoles to their first-ever National Championship under legendary Coach Bobby Bowden.
After graduating from FSU with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Charlie was drafted twice by Major League Baseball and was a first-round draft pick of the New York Knicks. He went on to play for the Knicks, helping the team reach the playoffs six consecutive years from 1996 to 2001. He played eleven seasons as a leading point guard in the NBA in New York, San Antonio, and Houston, and served as an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets for two years.
Charlie Ward is a man whose greatness and grace know no bounds. He and his wife Tonja have been married for 23 years and they have three children, Caleb, Hope and Joshua. The Wards underwrote and produced youth development sports camps throughout the country from 1996 - 2006, and continue to quietly donate funds to churches and schools. In 2015, they officially founded the Charlie Ward Family Foundation to leave a legacy of giving back by supporting youth development programs and organizations, and sharing his inspirational message of embracing the process that leads to success.
Being a Florida State graduate and fan of both Coach Bobby Bowden and quarterback Charlie Ward, Jr., it was exciting to have Charlie at our 2019 Spring banquet....Charlie Ward, Jr. is the true definition of a servant leader. He showed that taking care of others is our most important role.
- Tommy Watkins, Area Director Big Country GA FCA
We (The Brevard Seminole Club) could not have been more pleased with Coach Ward’s presentation. His ability to intertwine stories and communicate about his faith, his athletic career and helping people to live better lives left everyone in the room with smiles! We look forward to another visit from Coach Ward!
- David Treffer, President Brevard County Seminole Club