After a troubling start to the 2004 spring season, the CSU men’s
club rugby team is looking to get back on track by restructuring
from the top down.
“The men’s rugby team has struggled with leadership and
organization, just as many clubs do, but hopefully with some new
officers and a new coach, things will go better,” said Karri Smith,
the CSU club sports coordinator.
Problems with organization has led to failure in getting the
team registered with USA Rugby and even caused the team to miss
some of its games. On March 19, a month into the season, 49 members
of the team were registered through USA Rugby and cleared to
The team has struggled with consistent coaching since the
departure of Jesse Porter after the 2003 spring season. Porter had
coached for seven years before his assistants took over.
“We were unsatisfied with (Porter), so we parted ways,” said
veteran Garrett Overlee.
Todd Gates, who has been an assistant to the team for more than
three years, will be stepping up as the new head coach. Gates was
asked by the CSU men’s rugby alumni to take the job.
“I enjoy rugby and any way I can help the CSU team, I am happy
to do so,” Gates said.
Gates started playing rugby as a 15-year-old for the Boulder
Men’s Club. He then played for four years in England and four more
on Pacific Coast, an all-star team in California. He was also
invited to three national team camps before coming back to Colorado
and playing for the Fort Collins Men’s Club.
Gates also coaches the Fort Collins Youth Boys Rugby team and
has been playing rugby for 16 years.
“We are really excited to have a new coach,” said veteran Adam
The new officer selection is still in process with the new
officers to be voted into office as soon as possible.
So far this season, the Rams have taken second at a Utah
tournament in February, but they lost 14-5 in a scrimmage against
Wyoming on Sunday. The game was called 10 minutes into the second
half because of snow.
The Rams are scheduled to play the Fort Collins Men’s Club on
April 10, in their last home game of the season. They are also
looking ahead to the Santa Barbara Tournament in late April – the
highlight of their season. CSU beat two Sweet 16 teams in the
tournament last season, and Gates has high expectations for the
team at the tournament and for next season.
“We are going to win the Santa Barbara Tournament and we are
going to get back into the Sweet 16 next year,” Gates said.