Rugby Coaches Leave Midseason

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September 9, 2017 - Irving, TX - Game action of the rugby game between the University of Dallas and the University of North Texas. (Photo by: Anthony Mazur)

When things seemed to be going so well for the University of Dallas Rugby Football Club, a major setback has hit the program.

UD Rugby is now officially without a coaching staff. Head coach Dean Robinson and assistant coach Bruce McGregor have parted with the team. As of now, the 1-1 Hoggies are without two of their most valuable coaches and remain without a head coach.

As a result of Robinson and McGregor leaving, the remaining assistant coaches have decided to also leave the team due to their inability to coach the team full time.

Both Robinson and McGregor came to the Hoggies last year as assistants to new head coach Fillip Keuppens. Keuppens left the team at the end of last season due to work obligations, allowing Robinson to be promoted to head coach. The three helped completely turn around the team. UD Rugby won just one game the year before they arrived; last year, they went undefeated.

According to junior team captain Peter Whisenant, both Robinson and McGregor have departed

due to the expansion of their respective businesses. Robinson will be relocating to Florida while McGregor moves with his company to Tennessee.

Robinson serves as CEO of American Prestige Construction, a general contracting company based in Dallas, Texas. The company maintains 125 clients in the Dallas area including Burger King, Arby’s and T-Mobile and is expanding into Florida.

McGregor’s company, Swinglift USA, provides ground level container transport in Irving. As CEO, McGregor will be moving with the company as it expands to Tennessee.

Both Robinson and McGregor could not be reached for comment.

“At the end of the day Coach Robinson and Coach McGregor are two of the most ambitious and driven men I know,” junior flanker Joe Valentine said. “Both of them moved to America from New Zealand with next to nothing and became CEOs of large companies.”

Whisenant says that the team has reached out to coaches from Robinson and McGregor’s native country of New Zealand as well as Australia in order to fill the vacant position. According to senior lock Gabriel Martinez-Varela, Robinson knows the coaching prospect from New Zealand. The Hoggies are also in contact with Texas All Star Rugby coach Darren Scott as well as local club coaches. Dallas will also seek the help of any alumni interested in coaching the squad.

As the team searches, they have hired Danny Polcari as an assistant to facilitate practices and games. Polcari is a former member of the Dallas Rugby Football Club and entered the club’s Hall of Fame in 2006.

“It will obviously be a huge loss not having them anymore, but the system and culture they founded will remain with the players they crafted,” Valentine added. “The new coaching staff coming on will hopefully be at the same level as them.”

The Hoggies play their next match at home against Texas State University on Oct. 28.

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