News

Penn State Officially Hires 2 New Coaches

Penn State Rugby Alumni Club
8th September, 2015

State College, PA
The Penn State Rugby Alumni Club has partnered with the University to support the hiring of 2 full-time coaches for the men’s and women’s rugby teams.  The recent announcement of Blake Burdette as the Men’s Head Coach and Kate Daley as the Women’s Head Coach is a huge step forward for Penn State Rugby and the culmination of several years of discussions between the alumni and the university.

 

With the hiring of Blake and Kate, Penn State Rugby has joined the ever-growing ranks of teams who have the benefit of full-time, university-employed coaches.  This step is vital to the success of PSU Rugby. To make this a reality, the Alumni Club made a financial commitment to the University to partially fund the head coach positions for three years.

 

The rugby department has gone through a significant transformation over the last year.  With club sports moving to student affairs, rugby is now fully in the Athletic Department.  The new positions are also the end of a slow re-organization pushed by the Alumni Club for many years.  The University appointed Chris Amoratis as the Director of Rugby earlier this year, and with the hiring of full-time head coaches the rugby department is now in a position to drive the game forward on campus.

 

“We are very excited about the partnership we have with the University to support the Penn State Rugby programs,” said Greg Gooch, Alumni Club President.  “Chris, Kate and Blake will be the leaders of the program, and our goal is to rally Alumni support so they can be successful.”

 

The Alumni have launched the “Invest in Change” campaign to support the new coach positions, and to help fund the operational costs of the teams and the alumni club.  The goal of the campaign is to raise over $150,000 by the 2016 Alumni Reunion Weekend with the request that alumni, parents and supporters make monthly donation.  Pledges can be made here.

 

The Penn State Alumni Club is a 501c3 devoted to the support of the Penn State Men and Women’s rugby programs.  You can find out more about the Alumni and Penn State Rugby at www.psurugby.org.

Alumni Reunion 2015 Summary

Thank you to everyone who came out to State College for our Annual Alumni Reunion! Over 300 people attended a fun, Hawaiian shirt filled weekend. The Men's Alumni edged the undergrads 63-59 and the Women's Alumni won with a score of 57-19. The matches were competitive and fun for both players and spectators.

The banquet was another enjoyable affair full of delicious food and good company. Congratulations to new Lifetime Members Brett Hoffman, Kate Daley, Jonathan "Hooker" Swart. We also honored Pete Steinberg for over 20 years of service to PSU Rugby. It was great to see all of the women alums who returned to Happy Valley to honor Pete as he passed the torch to Kate Daley, who was announced as the next Head Coach of the Women's team.

Finally, at last year's Reunion, the '89 Men's Team announced that they would be raising $89,000 for PSU Rugby. A class gift of this magnitude is unprecedented. This year, they announced that they have raised over $60,000 towards their goal! Congratulations to a team that continues to set an amazing example of giving back to the program.

Finally, I wanted to acknowledge the people who made sure the weekend went off without a hitch:

The entire Board, especially Anne Marie Blaccuti, as well as Chris and Kara Amoratis, for all of their efforts. The weekend would not have been possible without the behind-the-scenes efforts of this group.

Bob Ricketts and Fasta & Ravioli Co. for putting out yet another incredible spread.

The girls from Lindsay Pullara's studio, Dance Fusion, for their help all day on Saturday selling merchandise and babysitting.

Everyone who donated Silent Auction gifts. We raised $800!

Everyone who bought 50/50 tickets. We raised $668 for Ariel Johnson's medical bills (West Chester University Rugby Alum)

Please stay tuned for upcoming Alumni Events!