Coachless Ruggers Coach Each Other
The sheriff has left town. And the band of lawless bandits, otherwise known as the Harvard Rugby Football Club, has been left guarding the store.
The Harvard men's rugby team has opened its season without usual volunteer Coach Martyn Kingston--a graduate student who is finishing his thesis in South Africa.
Although Harvard opened with a victory last weekend over Holy Cross, the team still insists it needs a coach.
"We definitly need a coach," Lanny Thorndike said. "The practices have been more fun, but the fun will be detrimental to our play later on."
Kingston, who has skippered the squad voluntarily for the past seven years, told the team he would return the first week of April.
In the meantime, the team's 50-or-so members have been left on their own.
"If he doesn't return," Department of Athletics Director Jack Reardon said, "there will be a problem."
Reardon said he talked to Kingston before he left, but that he has not spoken to him since.
"He is supposed to be back around now," Reardon said. "We've never had a paid rugby coach, and there has been a real problem with that sort of thing."
If Kingston does not return, Reardon said he would help the team look for another volunteer coach.
"It's always been an informal kind of thing for clubs," Reardon said. "They have to find people."
"It's not taking anything away from the captains, they've provided a lot of leadership," Steve Kahn said, "but you need a central authority figure."
"It's much harder for an undergrad to motivate a team," Thorndike said, "than a person who is removed from the community."
For the time being, Co-Captains Scott Tierney and Mike Newhouse have shared the burden of coaching as well as playing.
"It's really tough being the captain and the coach," Newhouse said. "We definitely miss Martyn, no doubt about it."
While the team has gotten along well in Kingston's absence, the squad is still looking toward his return.
"I think we're doing real well right now," Kahn said, "but we do need a coach in the long run."