Berkeley, Calif. - Mike MacDonald, a professional most recently with Leeds Carnegie in the English Premiership who holds the US record for international appearances following an All-America career at California between 2000 and 2004, will serve as an assistant coach for the Golden Bears during the spring season.
"It's an honor to come back here and coach at Cal," MacDonald said. "I'm really looking forward to help these players progress the way the coaches here helped me to progress."
"What a pleasure it is having Mac with us. He has the knowledge and ability to be an excellent coach," said Cal Head Coach Jack Clark. "The boys know he's a decorated Cal man and among the most accomplished American rugby players of all time."
"Big Mac" achieved his record 67th international appearance June 23, 2012, against Italy. His career as a member of the U.S. National Team has included 11 matches in the quadrennial Rugby World Cup, including his Man of the Match performances against Tonga in 2007 and Russia in 2011.
In 2008, he received the twin honors of being voted Leeds Carnegie's Players Player of the Year and Supporters Player of the Year, and was named captain of the Leeds professional side for the following season, a significant honor for an American player overseas.
He spent the past summer and fall rehabbing from injury and is expected to return to the field this season with the Olympic Club, and could well add to his USA caps this coming summer.
At Cal, MacDonald carved out his reputation as a powerful and mobile prop who earned MVP honors at the 2004 national championships, where he led the Bears to their fourth championship in his five-year collegiate career. He arrived at Cal from Miramonte High School and grew up in nearby El Cerrito, where he continues to reside.
MacDonald, who joins 2007 All-American Ross Biestman as a new assistant on the team, becomes the 11th former Cal rugger to spend one or more seasons on the Rugby Bears coaching staff after earning international honors. That list includes Rick Bailey, Mark Carlson, Whit Everett, Gary Hein, Ray Lehner, Tim O'Brien, Ramon Samaniego, Kort Schubert, Blaine Scully and Matt Sherman.
Additionally, internationals Tommy Smith (UCLA), the late Kevin Higgins (Cal Poly) and current Cal coach Tom Billups (Augustana) have also spent time on Cal coaching staffs under Jack Clark.