Coming off its Club 7s Championship last weekend, the Berkeley All Blues have appointed Adriaan Ferris as head coach for the fall 2013 Women's Premier League season.
The New Zealand native has more than 10 years of international coaching and management experience. Most recently, Ferris was head coach of the Northland Rugby Union ITM Cup team. As the union's director of rugby, he instigated the recently formed Northland Women's 7s program as part of the New Zealand Rugby Union's Olympic campaign: Rio 2016: Go for Gold.
Coach Ferris also been involved with the New Zealand Men's U20 talent identification and selection process, Tonga 7s team during the IRB Sevens World Series, and accompanied the flying Fijians to the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Ferris joined Berkeley during the developmental spring season, and after spending a month in Sri Lanka for the fledgling Carlton Super 7s Series, he returns to the Bay Area in advance of the WPL season. Ferris replaced decade-long coach Kathy Flores, who accepted the head coach position for the Brown University women's team. Ferris will also be without the support of former assistant coach Brandon Sparks, who has been named California women's head coach. Sparks' replacement will be named next week.
"I'm genuinely excited about this opportunity to coach competitively in USA," Ferris said. "Having spent some time in the spring with the All Blues, I know they have [a] culture of success and high expectations – being the most successful women's team in the US. It's clear the dedication, level of commitment and professionalism of these ladies to their sport here in the US is equal to any player in NZ – male or female. You have to remember, these ladies hold full-time jobs and are quintessential amateurs. So to prepare and train the way they do is immensely motivating"
Despite being a novice in coaching female athletes, coach Ferris will be no less forgiving, given his professional coaching background.