Jim Dixon appointed Head Coach of BC Bears

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Andrew Smith

May 31, 2013, Vancouver, BC (ISN) – The British Columbia Rugby Union today announced the appointment of Jim Dixon as Head Coach of the BC Senior Men’s Provincial Team, set to compete in the 2013 Canadian Rugby Championship.

Dixon will lead the storied BC Bears program with Assistant Coach Kenny Goodland, General Manager Hans De Goede and Team Manager Randy Neville.

Dixon brings over 12 years of experience in Sports Development and Professional Rugby Coaching and through his current role as a club coach with Burnaby Lake Rugby Club has a good understanding of the domestic rugby landscape.

“It is an honour to be involved with this program and I’m looking forward to working with BC Rugby, Rugby Canada, the clubs and our key partners in the local rugby community,” Dixon said.

Originally from New Zealand, Dixon has held a number of coaching and administrative roles in sport since hanging up his boots. Dixon started out as a Rugby Development Officer for the Queensland Rugby Union (Jan 2001-Aug 2002), was the Director of Rugby for national league club Basingstoke RFC in England (July 2003-2008), Director of Rugby for pro side Ordizia Rugby in Spain (Aug 2008-April 20011) and was an RFU Coach Educator before emigrating to BC in 2012.

As defence coach, Dixon played a key role in Burnaby Lake’s storied 2012-13 season which saw both their Premier and First Division men’s sides advance to the provincial finals last May. During the past season Dixon was also involved in Rugby Canada’s Coach Development Sessions and was a guest coach at the Under-20 national team camp.

“The BC Bears are in good hands with Jim Dixon leading the program in 2013. Jim’s strong knowledge and experience in the game combined with his elite sports management background makes him the ideal candidate for the 2013 CRC campaign,” said Rugby Canada Manager of Coaching Development Dustin Hopkins. “Rugby Canada looks forward to working with Jim and his staff this summer as we build towards the 2013 Americas Rugby Championships.”

Dixon will have plenty of experience to draw from within his coaching staff, especially from former BC and Canada rep Hans De Goede. Inducted into the BC Rugby Hall of Fame in 2007, De Goede was capped in both XVs and 7s for Canada and Captained the squad at the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987.

“Historically we have a reputation of producing great rugby players and with the best coaching staff available now on board, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get back to our winning ways,” said Bears GM De Goede. “We will be actively and aggressively recruiting players of the top standard in order for this program to be successful.”

Joining Dixon is Assistant Coach Kenny Goodland who is based in Victoria. Goodland has been a member of the Castaway Wanderers RFC coaching staff, led the Vancouver Island Rising Tide (U20 men) to a 2011 Dunbar Keg Provincial title and in 2013 coached the Island Crimson Tide in their McKechnie Cup campaign.

“Kenny is very enthusiastic and happy to be involved in the program this year,” De Geode added. “He is looking to climb the rep ladder as a coach and this will be a great experience for him as he will look to lead the Island fitness sessions during the preseason and work closely with Jim to ensure the team is ready for the upcoming season.”

The BC Bears will play five games in the 2013 Canadian Rugby Championship, a key step in Rugby Canada’s player pathway to selecting the Canada-A men’s national team which competes in the Americas Rugby Championship.

BC’s 2013 CRC campaign kicks off on August 10th at UBC’s Wolfson Fields with a clash against the Prairie Wolf Pack.

2013 BC Bears CRC Schedule:

Sat. Aug 10, 7:00pm KO – Wolf Pack at BC (Wolfson Fields, UBC)

Fri. Aug 30, 7:30pm KO – Ontario Blues at BC (Westhills Stadium, Langford)

Mon. Sept 2, 7:30pm KO – Atlantic Rock at BC (Westhills Stadium, Langford)

Sat. Sept 14, 4:30pm KO – BC at Ontario Blues (Lindsay RFC, Lindsay, Ont)

Sat. Sept 21, 7:00pm KO – BC at Wolf Pack (Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton, Alta)