For a college that prides itself on its traditions above all else, a lot of change has occurred at Texas A&M Rugby over the last few months.
A new Recreational Sports Complex was recently completed which allows for 2 full-size grass fields and 2 full-size turf fields to be utilized for rugby, with an additional 2 turf fields available for warm-up. All fields are fully lit for evening use, have permanent sleeves for rugby posts, and an electronic scoreboard for each field.
The complex also includes restrooms, changing areas, showers, a meeting room with AV capabilities and wireless internet; as well as a covered outdoor area with tables and seating for 200 people.
Mirroring the increasing focus on 7’s Rugby across the country, Texas A&M Rugby hosted the inaugural Texas A&M Rugby 7’s Kickoff Tournament on September 10th. Baylor, Oklahoma, Sam Houston State, Texas, and Texas A&M competed in Varsity, JV and Developmental brackets throughout the day, with Oklahoma taking out the final in the varsity bracket, reversing a loss to Texas A&M earlier in the day in pool play.
All of these teams will renew their battles at the Oklahoma 7s event on October 15 for a spot in the USA Rugby Collegiate 7s National Championships.
Recognizing that running a rugby program is becoming more and more time-consuming – with coaches asked also to serve as coach, fundraiser, trainer, administrator, alumni contact, recruiter, promoter, and more, and also have a day job.
To improve the on-field performance of the Aggies, Texas A&M Rugby has recruited additional coaches to allow the separation of on- and off-field responsibilities. The complete staff is listed below, with the notable absence of longtime A&M rugby servant Johnny Smith, who takes a break from rugby to spend more time with his young family.
Texas A&M Staff
Director of Rugby – Craig Coates
Head Coach – Brett Mills
Assistant Coach (Forwards & Manager) – Jeremy Stewart
Assistant Coach (Backs) – Chris Lind
Assistant Coach (Forwards) – Daniel Allmon