Utah Warriors Release
HERRIMAN, UT (July 20, 2022) – The Utah Warriors have hired Greg Cooper to be the franchise’s newest Head Coach, the team announced Wednesday. Cooper becomes the fourth Head Coach in franchise history.
Cooper becomes the most experienced Head Coach in Major League Rugby. He joins the Utah Warriors from the Mitsubishi DynaBoars in Japan, who he helped elevate to Japan Rugby League One for the first time in 12 years. Prior to coaching in Japan, Cooper helped lead Stade Francais to a European Challenge Cup Championship – the first European trophy in Stade Francais history – as an assistant coach before being promoted to Head Coach in 2017. Additionally, Cooper has served as Head Coach to the New Zealand U21 team and Head Coach for the Highlanders of Super Rugby and Otago Rugby Union.
“After a thorough and exhaustive process, we are excited to welcome Greg Cooper to Warrior Nation,” said Warriors’ General Manager Brandon Sparks. “Greg is bringing a diverse wealth of global experience to our rugby operation, which will benefit the team and organization. His coaching style and personality will lend itself to our development-focused mindset and we are eager to see his contributions to our team and community as we turn Utah into the epicenter of North American rugby.”
“Greg’s experience at the highest levels of professional rugby as both a coach and player ensures that the Utah Warriors are in the most capable coaching hands in the MLR,” said Warriors’ CEO Kimball Kjar. “Not only does Greg’s leadership and success speak for itself, but his ability to work in dynamic environments shows he and his teams can succeed no matter the situation. Warriors Nation is going to love Greg and we’re very excited to have someone of his character and experience added to the Warriors family.”
“We are delighted to have Greg join the Warriors as our new Head Coach,” said Warriors’ Chairman John McGeady. “His experience and track record of success will be a huge asset to the whole organization. We are very much looking forward to watching the growth, development and success of our team and organization under Greg’s guidance both on and off the field.”
As a player, Cooper played at the highest level in the sport, making seven appearances for the New Zealand All-Blacks at the international level. He also played in his home country of New Zealand for Hawke’s Bay, Otago, and Auckland, as well as for the Blues of Super Rugby, as a Fullback.
“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to be Head Coach of the Utah Warriors,” said Greg Cooper. “I believe this is an organization that has strong rugby foundations and a loyal and passionate fan base here in the community. I look forward to building on the great work done so far to ensure the Warriors are consistently successful and respected, both locally and nationally.”