November 26, 2016
Sean Horan Retires from USA Rugby High Performance Pathway
Photo: Northeast Academy – Sean Horan
Northeast Academy Release: Ryan Trost
New York; Nov. 14, 2016 – Northeast Academy Executive Director and founding partner, Sean Horan has announced his retirement from the USA Rugby High Performance Pathway organization. The Academy’s long time Boston area director, John McGeachy will take over the role of Executive Director, after the FLOW Rugby Barbados World 7s tournament on December 10th and 11th.
A pioneering member of the USA Rugby High Performance Pathway system, Horan has had a tremendous influence on the development of both the pathway structure and many of the northeast region’s finest players. His presence will be sorely missed by players, coaches, staff and governing body officials alike.
“Sean has been the most significant figure in Northeast Sevens for many years with his work as the 7’s director of the Empire GU and as a coach of Old Blue. It was his singular vision and at times, sheer bloody-mindedness that made the Northeast Academy happen.” – Northeast Academy co-founder, Stephen Lewis.
It was under Horan’s guidance, along with co-founders Lewis and Bret Costain that the Northeast Academy became one of the original National Development Academy programs sanctioned by USA Rugby in 2013. The threesome designed the Northeast Academy structure to act not only as a development ground for individual players in the pathway, but also for the clubs and unions with which those players are affiliated.
As a strictly non-profit organization, Horan’s Northeast Academy teams have set the standard for USAR development squads on a global scale. Blending the top talent from both Empire and New England geographic unions, the Academy earned Plate hardware at their first World Club 7s event in London, 2013. Using the moniker of New York City 7s Horan and the Academy were engaged by United World Sports to trial the innovative Super Sevens format against Toronto in 2014. Soon thereafter the Academy also went on to win two Cup Championships in 2015, at the Las Vegas Invitational (Aces) and at Elite City7s in Philadelphia.
Horan’s proudest accomplishments at the Northeast Academy however, are not to be found in the trophy case per say, but rather in the expansive growth of the region’s development pipeline. In his short but influential career at the helm of the HP pathway organization, Horan was able to create three elite training hubs (NYC, Boston and Buffalo) in a far reaching geographic area. It was also the vision of Horan and his hand-picked staff that allowed the Academy to generate a fast improving Women’s elite pathway in the region, which got off the ground in 2015.
During Horan’s final year at the helm, the Academy solidified its partnership with Play Rugby USA to help lock in USA Rugby’s first Community Olympic Development program for rugby, as sanctioned by the United States Olympic Committee.
“Words cannot express how indebted we all are to the time, energy and diligence Sean Horan has put into making this Academy what it is today. It is an honor and my absolute pleasure to carry the torch forward on his behalf. I can only hope to achieve as much success.” – Northeast Academy Executive Director at hand, John McGeachy.
For all of these reasons, Horan’s rugby legacy in the region will be strong. His personal legacy will be even grander however. His infectious energy and determination has influenced a great number of athletes and staffers throughout New England and the greater New York/New Jersey area. The entire Northeast rugby community wishes him and his family nothing but the most tremendous success in all of their new endeavors.
DJCoil Rugby Comment: Sean also was a Monmouth Rugby Football Club Sevens Head Coach.
The Northeast Academy, with training squads in New York City, Boston and Buffalo, is a National Development Academy that has been sanctioned by USA Rugby as the official Academy (Men & Women) in the Northeast of America and as a designated pathway to the USA Eagles National Team selection. The purpose of the Academy is to identify, develop and prepare Sevens rugby players with the intention of placing ambitious athletes onto the USA National teams and future USA Olympic teams. The Academy will provide athletes with top level coaching, physical preparation, and playing competition to accelerate their personal development as Sevens players in line with current USA Eagles High Performance criteria.