BYU Rugby - History


The Brigham Young University Rugby Team was founded by John Seggar. After graduating from BYU, Seggar became Head Coach of the newly formed program.

In the 1980s, new players David Smyth, Mark Ormsby, and Dean Ormsby built up the BYU Rugby Team to compete for national championship honors.

The National Collegiate Tournament changed the schedule of playing from Friday-Saturday to Saturday-Sunday. This change in schedule and the team's affiliation with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints kept them from competing for a national championship because they would not compete on Sundays.

After the change in the championship format, John Seggar retired as the Head Coach. Over the next few years, BYU Rugby continued on its own. After much struggling, David Smyth, Mark Ormsby, and Dean Ormsby rebuilt the team. They passed it on to Vernon Heperi who later became BYU's head coach. After a temporary stay in the United Kingdom, Smyth returned to Utah in 1991 and continued his career as the BYU rugby Head Coach. Smyth coached several USA National Rugby Team Members, Collegiate All-Americans, and Pacific Coast All-Stars. Smyth later left in 2002, and Jared Akenhead, the assistant coach for Smyth, succeeded him as the new Head Coach. Under Akenhead's instruction, the BYU Rugby team made it to the national collegiate playoffs. Several of his players received All-American awards and National Team selection honors.

In 2005, Akenhead left the BYU Rugby program. Smyth took over as coach again with Kimball Kjar, Wayne Tarawhiti, Brian Westenskow, Justen Nadauld, and Jeff Hullinger as assistant coaches.

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