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App State Adds Decorated Prep Coach and Alumnus Lance Ware to Football Staff

By Tim Gardner

Appalachian State head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz added another member to inaugural staff Saturday with the hire of highly-successful North Carolina high school coach and Appalachian State alumus Lance Ware as senior assistant to the head coach.

“We’re excited to welcome Lance back to Appalachian State,” Drinkwitz said. “As a former player, he’ll be a huge asset in continuing our great tradition of championship football. I’m excited to give him an opportunity to join the college football ranks after his success as a high school football coach.”

As head coach of Shelby High School, Ware compiled a 99-25 overall record in eight seasons and won five state championships in the last six years.

Ware led the Golden Lions to 2A state championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and 2AA state titles in 2016 and 2018. During his tenure as head coach, Shelby compiled a sterling 33-3 record in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association playoffs.

Ware has spent his entire 22-year coaching career at Shelby, also his alma mater, working under head coaches Jim Taylor and Chris Norman. During that time span, the Golden Lions played for a remarkable 11 state titles, winning eight.

In his new role, Ware will assist  Drinkwitz with all aspects of organization and daily operations of the Mountaineer football program.

“I would like to thank Coach Drinkwitz and App State for this incredible opportunity,” Ware said.

A four-year letterman at Appalachian State under head coach Jerry Moore from 1992-96, Ware was the Mountaineers’ full-time long snapper his last three seasons and most of his freshman campaign.

Appalachian State’s best season when Ware played was in 1995 when the Mountaineers compiled a 12-1 record, winning the Southern Conference championship with a perfect 8-0 league mark.  The Mountaineers reached the quarterfinals of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division I-AA/Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) quarterfinals that season before losing 27-17 to Stephen F. Austin.

Ware and his wife, Catherine, have three children – Reece, Stockton and Presley.