Norman Okla. - The University of Oklahoma Men’s Collegiate Rugby Program has announced the appointment of A. Jason Horowitz as its new Head Coach to continue the development of the high performance program and its competition with the top programs in the country.
Oklahoma has a long history of success in the program’s 40 years on campus with numerous conference and regional championships, tournament championships, post season competitions, All-Americans, National Team players and coaches appointed to National posts. The appointment, according to Larry Naifeh, Executive Associate Athletics Director and former OU and All-American Head Coach, fits the culture of the University. “Jason’s focus is on the development of all aspects of our students. He has the vision and program building skills to create an environment that will be attractive to highly motivated student athletes and an approach that encourages teamwork.”
Horowitz has a history as a program builder, beginning in 2002 as Head Coach of Albright College in Reading, Pa. He most recently served as assistant coach and Director of Player Development at Kutztown University, his alma mater, before moving to Dallas, Texas in late 2012.
He worked with both the 15s and 7s programs at Kutztown, and also coached the Pennsylvania State Games Champions, Exeter High School, 7s team. Horowitz also was a trials coach and selector for the USA Maccabi team as well as the 1st Head Coach of the Rugby Pennsylvania All-State Team.
"We were looking to bring in an up and comer with energy and vision, who was ready to step up to lead a big name university like Oklahoma," says OU’s Director of Rugby Jon Velie. “Jason’s successes at building the infrastructure at Albright and others will serve as building blocks for developing the program at OU and his coaching at the high school level places him in a good position to recruit from the growing base of high school rugby student athletes in Oklahoma, Texas, and across America. Jason is a student of the game, his approach to continued learning is a good recipe for success on and off the field for our student athletes.”
“It is an absolute honor to be entrusted as the 6th Head Coach at OU. The traditions, success and depth of the programs support provide an unparalleled foundation from which to grow a top program here in Norman; and to take the OU brand to the next level in US Collegiate Rugby," added Horowitz. "The administration, staff, and athletes that I have worked with lately have a passion that is contagious and a spirit that commands success. I am confident that OU Rugby will be my last stop on a quest for a team, program and administration that share my vision, values, and commitment to drive rugby forward."
Al Velie, OU Rugby club founder and club advisor, made the decision to offer the position following an interview with Horowitz, Naifeh, Jon Velie and Oklahoma Rugby Inc., Men’s representative Michael Black Wednesday night.