Dallas Ward graduated from Oregon State University in 1927, where he was captain of the football, basketball and baseball teams. He was named an All-Pacific Coast Conference end in football while at Oregon State.
After serving as a high school football coach, where his teams won four City of Minneapolis championships, Ward coached freshman football at the University of Minnesota from 1936-1941.
Ward assumed the head-coaching job at the University of Colorado in 1948 when the Buffalos moved into the Big Seven Conference. He was often under fire from CU supporters who considered his basic single-wing formation outdated in an era when Oklahoma was dominating the nation with the split-T and all but a handful of the nation’s collegiate and pro teams were using the T. But Ward built his reputation as a coach on the fact that his teams annually gave Oklahoma its toughest games in the years when they were undefeated.
His teams scored more than 200 points a year for his last nine seasons at a time when not many teams could boast such feats. His 1957 team led the nation in rushing offense, was second in total offense and tenth in scoring. This was the team that Ward took to the Orange Bowl and it defeated Clemson 27-7, which provided one of his most memorable moments in sports.
Ward was a member of the West coaching staff in the 1956 East-West Shrine games. Following his coaching career, he served as assistant Athletic Director at CU from 1958 until his retirement in June 1975. That same year, he was selected to the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.
An ardent golfer and fisherman, Ward and wife Mary had five children—Mary, Barbara, Martha, Phillip and Mark.
His teams won four City of Minneapolis championships.