WHEELING, WV - Wheeling Jesuit University has announced the newest addition to the WJU Varsity Rugby Staff with the hiring of Eric Taber who joins WJU as Assistant Head Coach alongside Director of Rugby Eric Jerpe
Taber comes to WJU as a former Assistant Coach at the University of Colorado, where he helped guide the Buffs to victory in the inaugural Pac Coast (Pac 12) Sevens tournament in 2011. He also brings international experience as the Team Manager of the USA Rugby College All-American Sevens team, and former Team Manager of the High School All-Americans. He also worked in the USA Rugby national office.
Head Coach Eric Jerpe says the addition will help attract talent to Wheeling Jesuit. “Taber brings a passion for college rugby to WJU and will help lead our newly formed varsity program as we strive for national prominence.”
“I am extremely excited to join Wheeling Jesuit and to help build a strong varsity program,” said Taber. “I look forward to developing America’s young rugby talent to make the next generation of Eagles contenders on the International and Olympic stage,”
Taber brings a wealth of rugby experience to the WJU staff, having played the game for 14 years after picking it up just out of high school in New Zealand. He played collegiate rugby at the University of Montana, and went on to play for highly competitive club teams in Montana, Los Angeles, London, Paris, and New York City.
Varsity rugby is rare in the American sporting landscape, and Taber says he applauds WJU for having the vision and foresight to start a program that will help draw some of the finest rugby talent in the country to West Virginia.
“So many of the young athletes I’ve met are good enough to earn a Division I football scholarship, but would prefer to play rugby if they could only get a scholarship to help with rising college costs.” He adds: “I look forward to making a positive impact in their lives, and allowing an opportunity for an excellent education, while giving them the tools they need to succeed at the game they love.”
Taber will assist Jerpe working with the second row, and loose forwards. He will also assist with skill development, attack pattern, defensive structure and recruiting.