The plan was, study to be a chiropractor, and play and coach some rugby at the same time.
Seems straightforward enough, and James Isaacson was all set to do that, at Palmer College in Davenport, Iowa. However, at the last minute, the
position at Palmer fell through. Isaacson was at a loss.
Then someone mentioned that there was another chiropractic program he could go to, down in Marietta, Ga.
“I had no idea where Marietta was and had not expected to be in the Deep South,” Isaacson said. “But that’s where I ended up, and I’ve loved it here.”
Isaacson became coach and player for Life University, helping them come oh-so-close to a Super League or Elite Cup title on several occasions, last week’s 31-26 loss to SFGG in the Elite Cup championship game being just the latest.
“Knockout rugby can be cruel,” said Isaacson. “But I am more happy in thinking about the players we’ve developed here. At the same time, I told the guys this week, we’re lucky. Normally, we’d have until January to think about that loss to SFGG and how we could recover from it. But because we have the DI club playoffs this weekend, we have an opportunity to address those issues now.”
This weekend could well be the weekend that Life gets a national title, but it will also be, win or lose, the final weekend for Isaacson as Head Coach. He will finish his degree next March, and while he will be available to play on occasion, it is time to hand over the reins.
Isaacson will return to the UK to start his practice, but, he said, he won’t be gone forever.
“I expect I will be back,” he said. “I love America and my time here has been phenomenal. I have worked with some great coaches and players, and if you look at guys like Dan Payne and Scott Lawrence, they are the kinds of people American rugby needs. They really care about American rugby and are not in it just for themselves. I’m honored to have been here.”
Not bad for a last-minute Plan B.