Sussex, WI—Assistant Head Rugby Coach Vic Drover was one of 25 coaches across the United States selected for an all-expenses paid week-long trip to England, through USA Rugby and the Friends of the British Council, to study coaching with England’s Premiership teams, rugby’s equivalent of the NFL. Coach Drover will come out of that program with Level-300 coaching certification, which is held by only six coaches in the state and roughly 500 coaches nationwide. The intensive, residency program takes place at the of March, and it will have him studying with some of the biggest rugby teams in the world. He will also get a guest appearance on BT Sport’s Rugby Tonight show and a reception at Westminster Abbey at the House of Commons.
With all that comes from the opportunity, Coach Drover is most excited to participate in professional training environments.
“As a coach at Hamilton High School,” Drover explained, “I strive to deliver a professional experience to our athletes. This is hard having not personally played or participated at that level.”
Despite not playing professionally, Coach Drover has developed a long resume in the sport. He first learned about the game in 1994 as a graduate student in Canada. By the time he received the call to help start a girls’ rugby program in his new hometown of Sussex, Wisconsin, Coach Drover had already created a men’s team on Long Island; was the president of state’s largest men’s club, the Milwaukee Barbarians; had served as president of the Wisconsin Rugby Union; and was running the largest summer rugby event in America, the Lakefront 7s.
After many years of running teams, leagues, and tournaments, Coach Drover was looking for a change.
“I was looking to get closer to the action after many years in admin, and I was fortunate that a program started close to my home. I’ve always loved teaching and mentoring, which I did quite a bit of during my academic career, so [joining Hamilton] was an opportunity that addressed both of those interests.”
Captain Hannah Pfersch, junior, says the team is lucky to have him.
“He’s one of a kind, no doubt. From his sophisticated knowledge of the game, dedication to this players, and enthusiasm in everything he does, we are so blessed to claim him as part of the Hamilton Rugby team. ”
Despite his success and accolades, Coach Drover isn’t one to live in the past. He is busy focusing on how to improve rugby here at Hamilton.
“[I applied for the scholarship] to be a better coach for the athletes on our team. They work hard on the pitch, and it’s only right to work just as hard as a coach.”
The team’s head coach, Barry Holloway, appreciates what he is already done for the team.
“I don’t think the team would have been as successful, on and off the field, without him. He is incredibly deserving of this honor, and I am excited to see what he will bring to Hamilton after getting experience with some of the top teams in Europe.”
Coach Drover was on the inaugural staff when the team started two years ago and has two daughters in the district.