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Thursday, January 7, 2016

TIAR Awards, Coach of the Year: Mike Friday & Staff

Even though there were a whole host of candidates that we considered for this award, including perennial favorites Jack Clark and David Smyth, as well as up and coming coaches like Josh Macy, and coaches that had fantastic runs with their team like Andre Snyman, this award was a bit of a no-brainer. While a coach will always tell you that it's the players that go out and fight for the result and it's the assistant coaches that do most of the hard work, the truth is that often the character of a team is set by the head coach. Never has that been more apparent then what Mike Friday has done with the Eagles 7s.

It was just a little over a year ago that the Eagles nearly found themselves in a relegation spot, which would have jeopardized their shot at the Olympics. In fact, they had a tiny chance of even making the Olympics. Flash forward to today and that same team, full of many of the same players, has made the Cup round in both stops this season, beat New Zealand three times in a row, and won the London 7s. Not only has the team qualified for the Olympics but they are now a serious threat to win a medal. We're sorry but that's either magic or Mike Friday and his staff have done one of the best coaching jobs in rugby history.

Take the jump to read more.
One of the best parts of Friday as a coach is that he never leaves his players guessing what he wants from them. They may be guessing how much yaka yard he and Chris Brown are going to put them through but no players questions that they now Friday and staff are turning them into the most fit athletes on the Series. No one questions that no spot on the team is safe and that if you don't perform you could lose out. No one questions that the utmost commitment is needed to succeed on Friday.

Player understand all that because that is exactly how Friday operates as a coach. He is the utmost committed to his job and getting the most out of his players. Fans and players aren't dumb, they can tell when a coach doesn't have his heart in it. Friday doesn't do anything unless it has his whole heart in it. That's the same type of attitude his team has adopted.

We've talked on and on about Friday but yet we haven't even mentioned his tactics. Even if it wasn't for the other parts of his coaching ability his knowledge of 7s would likely win him this award. When you put it all together, challenging the players, clarity, picking the right staff, commitment, and tactics you get a world-class coach and one that was a shoe in for our Coach of the Year along with his staff.

All TIAR Awards are brought to you by Canterbury USA. For all your team gear as well as replica jerseys make sure to check them out.  #CommittedToTheGame 

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