Army West Point Men’s Rugby: A Profile

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November 5, 2015

Army West Point Men’s Rugby: A Profile

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Photo: Army West Point Athletics

Doug Coil

“The United States Military Academy is renowned because of its historic and distinguished reputation as  a military academy, and as a leading, progressive institution of higher education.”

West Point continues to provide hundreds of young men and women the unique opportunity to develop physically, ethically and intellectually while building a foundation for an exciting, challenging, and rewarding career as an Army officer in the service of our nation.” (Rugby Media Guide)

The West Point Army Men’s Rugby Program has been among the elite rugby programs for decades. At the United States Military Academy, cadets must participate in a sport.

Sports are a perfect avenue to prepare for leadership as a solider and in life. It builds character, supports maintaining fitness standards, and helps players react to the successes experienced, as well as during times of adversity.

Matt Sherman Hired as Men’s Rugby Coach

The men’s rugby program joined the Army Athletic Association in August 2014.

After Head Rugby Coach Mike Mahan announced his retirement in May, 2015,  Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Boo Corrigan was faced with the task of hiring a new coach. Matt Sherman was selected as the first full-time coach in Army West Point men’s rugby history in August. “After a national search produced a group of well-qualified candidates, Matt stood out to us as someone who could lead the program to new heights, competing on the national level and producing leaders of character for the United States Army. We welcome Matt, his wife Kristen and his daughter Piper, to West Point and I look forward to working with him for years to come.”

Matt indicated that “I am honored to be entrusted with the responsibility of leading the Army West Point men’s rugby program.” “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join one of the great institutions of leadership, dedicated to service of our country, as well as a rugby program with a distinguished tradition and history. I am proud to become your head coach and excited to get to work on the challenges ahead.”

Matt Sherman, Head Men’s Rugby Coach

Matt Sherman graduated from University of California, Berkeley in 2003 with a Bachelor’s in Arts Degree. He then completed a Master’s in History from Oxford University. Presently he is pursuing a Master’s in Sport Psychology from JFK University.

While with California Varsity Rugby, he was a three-time All-American and four-time National Champion from 2000-03. He also served as captain. He achieved national recognition with his selection to the USA Men’s National Team where he made seven appearances from 2003-05, including playing in the 2003 World Cup. He also played for Oxford University from 2005-07.

Matt became the Army West Point Men’s Rugby Head coach this year. He has had extensive coaching experience.

Previously he was Director of Rugby at Standford University between 2011-15. He also served as the Head Coach of the USA Rugby Men’s College All-Americans from 2012-14.  He was the Assistant Coach of the USA Rugby Men’s National Team from 2009-11.

From 2008 to 2010 he was at San Diego State University serving first as the Assistant Head Coach and then as Head Coach. In 2007-8 he was an Assistant Coach at Cal.

Interviews

Matt Sherman, Army West Point Men’s Rugby Head Coach, Interview at Kutztown vs. Army Rugby Match, Kutztown, PA, October 24, 2015

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Donny Goff, Captain, Army West Point Men’s Rugby, Interview at Kutztown vs. Army Rugby Match, Kutztown, PA, Oct. 24, 2105

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Anderson Rugby Complex
The Anderson Rugby Complex was a gift by Lee R. Anderson, class of 1961 and Penny Anderson. Construction began in 2005 and was completed in May, 2007. The complex is alongside the Hudson River and is just north of West Point’s Shea Stadium.
The facility is a tremendous asset for the program. In addition to the natural turf competition field, which are floodlit, there is also an all-weather practice pitch.
The complex also has a two-story 13,650 sq. ft. center. The first floor includes four team locker rooms and another for referees. There are home and visitors showers, a laundry room, restrooms and a training room. On the second floor is a multi-purpose team room, coaches’ offices, restrooms and an observation balcony that overlooks the pitch. Below the balcony are 550 permanent seats.
When there is a need, additional portable stands may be brought in. Two electronic scoreboards are also there. (Rugby Media Guide)
For more about the program, players and coaches, view the 2015 Men’s Rugby Media Guide
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Photo: United States Military Academy Office of Athletic Communications:  2015 Media Guide
In October, 2015 it was announced that the Army West Point Men’s Rugby Team became a member of the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup. Read this press release to learn more, Men’s Rugby to Compete in Penn Mutual Varsity Cup
Fall 2015 Schedule & Results
Buffalo (Home) W 48-0
St. Bonaventure (Home) W 55-0
Wheeling Jesuit (Home) W 35-23
Penn State (Away) W 46-36
West Virginia (Away) W 63-13
Iona (Away) L 43-26
Kutztown (Away) L 39-26
Air Force (Away) Nov 6th
http://djcoilrugby.com/
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