January 22, 2016
Glendale Raptors Name Kitt Wagner Ruiz Women’s Rugby Head Coach
Photo: Danya Clark
Glendale Raptors Press Release: John Arthur, Jan. 21, 2016
GLENDALE, CO – The Glendale Raptors have named Kittery (Kitt) Wagner Ruiz head coach of the women’s rugby team. Ruiz, a former assistant coach for the Raptors, inherits a team that won the 2014 and 2015 Women’s Premier League (WPL) championship. “Kitt and the next season’s team will develop their own legacy as did the 2015 WPL team, and will continue the path of excellence and high standards that is the Glendale Raptors Rugby program,” said Mark Bullock, director of rugby for the Raptors.
Ruiz has nearly two decades of rugby experience. As a player, she has significant national and international experience, playing both 7s and 15s. Notably, she played in both the 2010 and 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cups. She began her coaching career at her alma mater, St. Lawrence University in New York, before eventually arriving in Glendale, first as a player in 2011, and then as assistant coach in 2015 working with forwards. In both iterations of Ruiz’s career with the Raptors, the team won a WPL championship.
Ruiz’s varied experience both as a rugby player and coach have helped prepare her for this post. “Kitt is a player-centered coach who allows players to be empowered and take ownership in their own development”, Bullock said. “She has strong technical knowledge of forward play and is developing technical knowledge of back play. She is confident in her abilities and also to delegate responsibility to her assistant coaches to allow them to do their job.”
Ruiz says her ability to create a positive, competitive environment will allow players to develop individually and as a team. “We’re here to enjoy our growth and embrace calculated risks and mistakes if we learn from them,” she said. “Competition is essential to success. Pushing each other helps us grow as a team.” To that end, Ruiz intends to cultivate a Raptors team made up of smart decision makers.
Following a championship winning season and competing with the best in the Women’s Premier League would be challenging for any incoming head coach. For Ruiz, it’s a challenge she’s ready for. And if her past success is a harbinger for the future, she, and the Raptors, will thrive.