Austin Herd announced just before Christmas that Brent Semmons was named the head coach. Semmons’ coaching staff includes former mentee Andrew Suniula.
Brent is from Auckland, New Zealand and brings over 20 years of coaching experience from high school to age-grade, provincial and professional rugby as a Level 3 World Rugby Educator. He played hooker for North Harbour and for the Maori All Blacks.
He was the Rugby Development Officer at Auckland RFU from 1999-2002. He then was the Director of Sports and the Sevens Coach at Kelston Boys School in New Zealand from 2003-2015 where he coached the Suniula Brothers. He coached in Spain with Getxo Artea, with the Cook Islands national team, and coached in Argentina, and Italy. He coached age-grade rugby with North Harbour and Auckland and was Massey Premier Rugby’s head coach. He also was the International Academy manager since 2016 for the Auckland Rugby Union. This included coaching at Baylor University with the Academy in 2017.
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“I place huge importance on growing the local pathway here in Austin,” said Semmons. “We’re looking to be a fully professional side, so we’re obliged really to ensure that we serve the community and have a good relationship with the local clubs. To me, that looks like us going down to the local clubs full noise and putting our fingerprints on their development as we create an opportunity for a seamless transition to our top side.”
In the last three seasons, Semmons coached; the Auckland U19s, the Blues U20s & U18s, and the Auckland Mitre 10 side. In his 20 years coaching in New Zealand, Italy, Spain, the United States, and Argentina he’s served as a mentor to a bevy of world-class players, including Andrew Suniula.
“We go way back, I coached Drew in the early 2000s at the club level in Auckland,” said Semmons. “I came up earlier this year and together we came up with a plan of attack, so we’ll be on the same wavelength as we head into 2020.”
Semmons and Suniula look to diverge from the traditional labels of forward & backs coach and rather shift focus on more specialized roles as lead coaches for the Austin Herd this season.” #jointheherd