Virginia Commonwealth University Men’s Rugby
Richmond, VA Nick Hill will be the next head coach/director of rugby of the Men’s Rugby Club at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). He will be taking over a club that went 5-2-2 last Fall, finishing second in the north division of the Cardinals Collegiate Rugby Conference.
Hill brings with him an impressive resume of international coaching experience. From several different schools in the U.K. to schools and clubs in Chile. Along the way, there were self-funded trips to shadow the coaching staff of the Canterbury Crusaders in New Zealand and then again with the Ulster Rugby staff in Belfast. Hill is also a devotee of the Gambetta Athletic Improvement Network or GAIN for short.
Hill believes in a Player-centered environment. This is one where Games Based Coaching is used with a purpose for game action where players learn skills in the context of the real game, rather than just for the sake of a drill for drill’s sake. Players are encouraged to work things out for themselves and are not just told what to do. Guided Discovery questioning is one of the key coaching tools for Hill. This develops a culture that motivates the player’s involvement in practice as more than doers of drills, but active learners that take ownership of their development.
Having been stateside for the first few weeks of preseason practices, he likes what he sees
athletically from the players. “The players seem fit, having run through five weeks of offseason conditioning with Athletic Development Coach Adam Moss”. The next step is working
on getting skills up to task before the first match, which falls on September 1 against Queens College in Charlotte. Hill said that the players have been very welcoming and the alumni have been
very supportive. He is planning one on one chats with the players and a formal meeting with the club’s leadership group once school starts. Former head coach Ben Morgan has been helpful in the transition as well, giving Hill a rundown on the landscape of rugby in the USA, key information on the returning players and the opponents.
When asked, Hill states that “The sky is the limit” with the program. With the central location to the population centers of the state, he looks forward to recruiting visits to high school clubs
in Virginia and as well as the Mid-Atlantic. Looking to the future, Hill hopes to run day camps and possibly overnight camps in the Richmond area for high school players and coaches.