A new era for Winston-Salem State University football will begin as Kienus P. Boulware has been named the new head coach of the Winston-Salem State University Rams after serving as the Rams’ defensive coordinator for the past four years. The ninth head coach in Winston-Salem State University history, he will look to carry on the proud tradition that is Rams football.
“This is a dream job, and I’m at a dream school,” Boulware said. “I’m extremely happy that this day has come.”
“Though this is Boulware’s first head coaching position, he brings a wealth of experience to the position and has been well-prepared to carry on the strong legacy of the WSSU football program,” said Bill Hayes, athletic director. “A man with more than 17 years of collegiate coaching experience under his belt, Boulware is regarded by his peers as one of the top defensive coaches in NCAA Division II football. He has certainly spent his coaching career as talent developer, motivator and a professional with an unbridled passion for the game of football.”
Boulware arrived at Winston-Salem State University after spending four years as an assistant coach at Shaw University in Raleigh. where his defensive teams ranked tops in the nation in 2007 and 2008, and brings with him a wealth of collegiate coaching experience and championship pedigree.
Over the past four seasons, Boulware has transformed the WSSU defensive unit into the best in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and the nation each year. His 2013 defensive unit was not only tops in the CIAA, but finished the season ranked as the top Division II defense in the nation. During the Rams run to national title game in 2012, his defense led the CIAA once again and finished 12th nationally. In 2011, his defense led the CIAA and finished ninth in Division II and his defensive unit finished ranked as the number one unit in the CIAA and fifth nationally in 2010.
Not only have his teams been ranked at the top during his tenure, but Boulware has also produced the last three Defensive Players of the Year in the CIAA. Carlos Fields, Jr. was named the Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, as well as being named the 2012 CIAA Defensive Player of the Year. In 2011, Alton Keaton took home the award from the CIAA as the league’s top defensive player.
A native of Thomasville, N.C., Boulware starred in football and also was a two-time state champion wrestler at Thomasville High School. He would go on to play two seasons (1993-94) as an inside linebacker at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before his football career was shortened by the discovery of a spinal cord abnormality. He remained on the sideline as a student coach for two seasons under former coach Mack Brown, working with linebackers and defensive linemen.
Upon graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill in May of 1997 with a degree in organizational communication, Boulware coached linebackers at Livingstone College for two years (1997-98) and helped to lead the Blue Bears to a pair of CIAA Championships.
Following his tenure at Livingstone he moved to North Carolina Central University in Durham, where he served in various capacities including assistant football coach (linebackers and defensive line), assistant track coach and assistant athletic director.
While at NCCU, he worked primarily with the Eagles linebackers after spending one season (2003) as the defensive line coach. In 2004, two linebackers topped the team in tackles, including CIAA All-Rookie Team pick Marcus Short, who led the way with 64 total tackles. From 1999-2002, he coached linebackers under head coach Rudy Abrams. During those four seasons, a linebacker led the team in tackles three times.
When not on the field, Boulware enjoys playing racquetball, working on cars and working out with the WSSU student-athletes.