Clemson head coach named Penn Mutual Varsity Cup Rugby Coach of the Year

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justinhickey

 

Salt Lake City, UT – In lead up to today’s Penn Mutual Varsity Cup National Rugby Championship, the coaches and administrators of the participant schools met for a series of coordination and development meetings to review the 2015 competition and set plans for the future.

Along with these coordination meetings, the coaches named Clemson University head coach, Justin Hickey, as the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup 2015 Coach of the Year.

Hickey, who was named to the USA Rugby Collegiate All American coaching staff along with Varsity Cup fellow head coach Gavin Hickie from Dartmouth, has quickly taken Clemson from a mid-tier collegiate rugby program in the Atlantic Coast Rugby League (ACRL) to the 2013 and 2014 champions.

“We were patient with Oklahoma while they requested clarification from USA Rugby but will now move forward without the Sooners,” said David Smyth, head coach of Brigham Young University, on behalf of the Varsity Cup. “We considered slotting in a replacement team but ultimately decided not to dilute the competition with an unqualified team. It is unlikely the absence of Oklahoma will affect the quarterfinal round of the tournament.”

Hickey, who was named to the USA Rugby Collegiate All American coaching staff along with Varsity Cup fellow head coach Gavin Hickie from Dartmouth, has quickly taken Clemson from a mid-tier collegiate rugby program in the Atlantic Coast Rugby League (ACRL) to the 2013 and 2014 champions.

Hickey was also named the ACRL Coach of the Year in both of those championship seasons.

Overall, Hickey has led the Tigers to a strong 28-4 conference record over five seasons at the helm.

In the 2015 Penn Mutual Varsity Cup, Hickey led his Tigers to a 26-22 upset victory over Arkansas State University, but were up-ended narrowly at the United States Naval Academy the following week by the score of 23-24.

After their team’s loss to the Midshipmen, Hickey and the Tigers finished as Runners-Up at the ACRL 7’s Championship the following week, and therefore , qualify to the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship in Philadelphia May 30-31.

Hickey was also a member of the 2012 USA Rugby Under-20 Junior World Rugby Trophy Champion coaching staff.

“Justin is one of the Varsity Cup’s rising coaches,” said Penn Mutual Varsity Cup Director Dan Lyle, “And is proof that consistent effort and a solid vision can lead to the development of a winning program. Justin is another example of what makes the Varsity Cup a great avenue for the development of collegiate game and student-athletes.”

After being named the 2015 Coach of the Year, Hickey was obviously flattered.

“To be selected as the Coach of the Year is humbling,” Hickey said, “The room was packed with men that I look up and have interacted with over my coaching career, and this is just as much an award for our players, alumni and support staff. I look forward to continuing our efforts at Clemson and am grateful for the opportunities that the Varsity Cup offers our program to grow and develop.”

Hickey and the rest of the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup Head Coaches will be on hand at today’s championship match between the California Berkeley Bears and the Brigham Young University Cougars.

Kick-off is slated for 4pm EST and will be broadcast live on national television on NBCSN. Check your local listing for channels.

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