West Houston Lions Rugby Club – Paul Emerick
West Lions Rugby Club Names Paul Emerick as Men’s D1 Head Coach.
USA Rugby Legend Leads Its Future
Paul Emerick is from Emmetsburg, Iowa and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in General Studies. While there he played rugby (2000-2003). Upon graduation, he played with the Chicago Lions before signing a professional contract with Amatori Catania of Federazione Italian Rugby. He a=made one appearance during the 2004-05 season and then signed with Overmach Parma the following year, making five appearances.
For the next two years, 2006-2008, he played for the PRO12 Rugby Newport Gwent Dragons, making 43 appearances. Then it was back to Overmach Parma in the Emila-Romagna region of Italy for the 2008-2010 seasons. There he would make 38 appearances.
Later in 2010, he went back to PRO12 Rugby playing with Ulster, where he made two appearances. While in Belfast, Northern Ireland, he also played with Malone RFC, an amateur club.
His last participation as a professional rugby player was in 2012 with the English Premiership London Wasps. he made four appearances for the team.
USA Rugby National Team & Paul Emerick
Paul Emerick, Eagle 325, earned 53 caps for the USA Rugby Men’s Eagles XVs team and 20 caps for the Eagles 7s team.
For the Eagles XV, he debuted on April 27, 2003, against Spain in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and made his last test against Romania in Bucharest on November 24, 2012. At the time, he was the leading try score leader. Of the 53 tests, he started 49 times. He also played three times in the Rugby World Cup (2003, 2007, and 2011).
Emerick played with the Eagles 7s team from 220-2005 and from 2009-2010 in 20 competitions.
Paul Emerick & Coaching
Emerick was a rugby coach at the United States Air Force Academy where he began in August 2015 and coached for three years. He now joins both the Houston SaberCats as Skills Coach and the West Houston Lions as the Men’s D1 Head Coach.
West Houston Lions Rugby Club Release
Houston, TX, September 14, 2018 “The West Houston Rugby Club is pleased to announce that Paul Emerick, Eagle No. 325 and former member of the London Wasps RFC of the English Premiership, has agreed to become the Head Coach of the West Houston Lions for their inaugural season of D1 Men’s rugby. With 53 Eagles XVs caps, three Rugby World Cup appearances, and a Barbarians F.C. selection, Paul brings a wealth of perspective and experience that is sure to lend itself to Lion’s pursuit of greatness. Additionally, Coach Emerick will work with Major League Rugby’s Houston SaberCats as their Skills Coach, as this hiring is a joint venture between the Lions and the SaberCats.
The concept of West Houston fielding a D1 team a few years ahead of its strategic plan to do so is about developing players, coaches, referees, and administrators who prepare to operate in the professional game. Paul is essential to that concept in developing players and himself. He is a coach we will be seeing at the professional and test match levels in years to come.
West Houston Lions Rugby Club Comments
-Grant Cole, D1 Men’s Team Manager
The excitement spurred as a result of this announcement spans well beyond the walls of the WHL organization.
When asked how he felt about the decision to bring on Paul, Coach Justin Fitzpatrick of the Houston SaberCats noted, “(Paul’s) had a storied playing career in a number of different environments, which is going to enable him to draw from different experiences…I think he’s going to be a great addition to the Lions’ program.”
With the atmosphere of American Rugby quickly heating up, Emerick realizes the need to create an environment that will benefit players at the highest levels. “I want to continue to build a culture of professionalism, and help young men reach their aspirations, whether that be professional, international, or enjoyment of the game.”
The West Houston Lions are excited to have Paul aboard. He joins an already impressive Senior Men’s coaching staff featuring Neil Riley (DoR), Kenneth Hepburn, Neil Doherty, Dan O’Donnell, Hennie Volschenk, & Garry Owen. Paul’s reputation in sport and connections to rugby all around the world will help with recruiting young players and coaches to the Houston-area. Paul is currently enrolled in USA Rugby’s Project SOAR and serves as backs and attack coach for the Men’s Collegiate All-Americans. West Houston looks forward to a successful first season.
About West Houston Rugby Club
West Houston Rugby Club is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) registered organization in Texas. West Houston Rugby Club accepts players of all genders from the age of 3 to 18 and senior players post High School. Youth teams are grouped according to age, with girls competing at the same level as boys until age 13. The club has three competitive Senior Men’s teams in Divisions 1, 2, and 4 in the Red River and Texas conferences and is actively forming a Senior Women’s team. For more information on the West Houston Rugby Club please visit www.westhoustonrugby.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.”