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"How Can High School Coaches Help Their Players Be Recruited?"


High school rugby coach helping a player be recruited for college rugby


This question was posed to us recently on Instagram by a high school coach who runs a new but already successful program. It is a great question that doesn't have a well-defined answer in the rugby space. We are hoping to provide some clarity and a path forward for high school coaches with this blog post.


As a former full-time college club coach I can layer in some feedback however, I don't think that will give you the depth and information you need. So, I asked some college coaches this question:


"What can high school coaches do to help get their athletes noticed?"


The coaching group that answered is diverse and features coaches in different phases of their careers and from different levels of competitiveness.


Players would also benefit from reading these responses from coaches. It can provide clarity for what to include in their highlights and help them understand that they are being recruited for more than their rugby talent.


Here are their responses:


Jamie Frech the national championship-winning Head Coach from the University of Michigan Women's program gives her insight into what she hopes a coach will share with her when the player transitions to college rugby.


Jamie Frech Head Coach University of Michigan Rugby

Learn more about the University of Michigan's program here: Website Instagram


Director of Rugby Blake Bradford from Life University men's program weighs in on the importance of coaches and programs providing quality film for their athletes. He also speaks about what is important for athletes to include in their film.


Blake Bradford Director of Rugby Life University

Learn more about Life Rugby here:


If this is the first time you're reading about Iowa Central Community College Rugby you have missed one of the greatest rugby stories in America from the last ten years. This is the only program in the country that offers a trade school component to their higher education experience. Head Coach Brent Nelson is an innovator and his program has players all over the professional rugby landscape and college rugby. Here are his thoughts about the importance of what you include in your highlight tape.


Brent Nelson Head Coach Iowa Central Community College Rugby

You can learn more about Iowa Central Community College here:


Jeff Horton the Head Coach for the newly launched Frostburg State University program in Maryland is an experienced college coach. His take on social media reflects the ever-growing presence it has in the rugby landscape. The care and upkeep of a program's social media are vital to player ID and tracking. Jeff and his staff know about this sort of thing as their program has some of the more unique posts on their social media channels.


Jeff. Horton Head Coach of Frostburg State University women's rugby

Learn more about Frostburg State University here:


Weighing in on the importance of having a robust and consistent film library is Central Washington University's Head Coach Todd Thornly. He also highlights the importance of the contact area in his list of desired skills to be seen. CWU has become one of the best programs for producing professional rugby players in America. His players are often some of the best in the contact area which allows them to excel at the next level.


Todd Thornly Head Coach Central Washington University Men's Rugby

Learn more about Central Washington University's rugby program:


Lance Hohaia with Aquinas College is a veteran college coach who has accepted the challenge to launch a new program. He also brings the experience of being one of the most recognizable stars in rugby league before his coaching days. His message is about being proactive and creating relationships to help promote players will help high school coaches understand that they should be reaching out and growing their network to help their program and players.


Lance. Hohaia Head Coach Aquinas College Men's Rugby

Learn more about Aquinas College's rugby program:


To end this blog we will let the Head Coach of St. Bonaventure University Tui Osborne speak on the importance of high school coaches developing good people not just good rugby players. Tui is renowned for his work in this area with college teams and is one of the leading experts in creating positive team cultures and using whole-player development model to get the most out of his players.

Tui Osborne Head Coach St. Bonaventure University Men's Rugby

Learn more about St. Bonaventure Rugby:


What do you guys think? Is this helpful? What would you like to add as best practices?

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