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Former NYAC Coach and current RuggaMatrix America co-host Bruce McLane told RUGBYMag.com that he is becoming the Coach of the Iona College rugby program in New Rochelle, NY.
Founded in 1940, Iona is a private university started by the Congregation of Christian Brothers, an Ireland-based order of Roman Catholic clergy.
McLane has enlisted current coaches Pat Fiffe and Tim Downey who graciously allowed him to fill the lead role as well as USA Defense coach Phil Bailey, Paul Denver, Paul Burke, Carl Maresca, and former Italian National team player and former USA scrum coach Fiori Screnci to his staff
McLane said having a large staff is important.
"You can't win alone," he said. "It's a mistake to think you can do it alone. The successful coaches have people with them, and in order to have freshmen and sophomores who are competing and doing good things, you need to have additional coaches who give them individual attention."
The staff, said McLane, is very experienced, and a bit older, which should give parents some comfort.
"There’s a lot of positives in the Iona program," McLane added. "They have a fantastic alumni base. They don’t have a football team. The rugby field is in the middle of campus. They have generous scholarships for academics and scholarships for kids who went to Catholic high schools. Tim O'Brien and John Everett took a very similar school [St. Mary's College of California] and had very big success, and that is what attracted me to Iona where I will try to copy that model."
McLane has already secured some assistance from the University. Applicants for the 2014-2015 year can have their application fee waived if they are rugby players. Just state in your Common Application (www.commonapp.org) that you are a rugby player, and affirm you have a fee waiver.
Then contact McLane at [email protected] to inform him you are applying.
If you are an underclassmen and you are interested in an elite rugby experience, you can click on this link and be put on the recruiting list, just list activity as rugby.
McLane is looking for players from anywhere, but in particular he knows that players from Catholic high schools, particularly Christian Brothers schools (prominent rugby programs include Brother Rice in Illinois and Bishop Hendricken in Rhode Island) can get financial assistance.
McLane said he is looking to win, eventually.
"We are going to work on things that take no talent, first," he said. "It doesn't take talent to be organized, to be in shape, to be courteous, to get your games webcast; it just takes effort. We've got a staff of guys who know rugby and are experienced in it, and are good friends as well, and we’re going to grow this program."