E.A. Sports Today

Lion King steps down

Hall of Fame coach Ware cites health reasons for stepping aside at Faith Christian after one season back on the sidelines

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Schuessler Ware has stepped down as the boys and girls basketball coach at Faith Christian right before the start of offseason camps, citing health reasons.

Ware, 65, jumped back into the game 16 months ago with the Lions “to make a difference,” coming out of retirement to start the Second Act of his coaching life after a Hall of Fame coaching career at Anniston.

But it was a rough year for the coach. He contacted COVID-19 right before the County Tournament, which forced both of his teams to pull out of the tournament. He is scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery unrelated to the virus next week.

“I have to take care of this medical part first,” Ware said. “I didn’t want the kids holding out waiting on me. 

“I didn’t want to go in there and spend the time being sick. It’s not a good feeling when you’re not at full speed when you want to be. It’s just been a bad year.”

Ware said he decided to step aside Tuesday and texted headmaster Chip Jones. The process of finding his successor is underway.

Ware retired from Anniston in 2016 after 19 seasons and more than 420 victories. His Bulldogs teams won seven county titles, 14 area titles, made five Final Four appearances and won two state titles.

Ware said the year he spent back on the sidelines “was fun” and he could see progress being made on both squads. He was one of three coaches in Calhoun County to coach both the boys and girls varsity teams at their school.

He brought the demanding coaching style that defined his Anniston teams with him to Faith and had plans to take his teams to camps in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham Southern this summer to enhance their advancement.

This story will be updated.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login