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Monday, May 8, 2017

Stephenson Named USA Touch HP General Manager

Press Release

USA Touch announced today the appointment of JD Stephenson as General Manager – High Performance.

Stephenson, whose current role as High Performance Database & Talent ID Manager with USA Rugby will lead the initiative of the USA Touch National Team programs into a unified group and streamline the identification, evaluation and development process. Stephenson is also the Coach of USA U20s program that qualified for last year’s U20 World Rugby Trophy in Zimbabwe. He will have overall responsibility for the national team pathways, age-grade programs, and the management of an integrated high performance system within the development, emerging, and elite levels of the game in the United States.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to assist OJ in the development and awareness of Touch Rugby in the US. I’m hopeful that Touch can be seen as an all-inclusive sport that allows for young and old to participate at all levels of competition.” Stephenson said.

Recently, USA Touch and USA Rugby penned a strategic partnership that will look to drive participation, engagement and support of both codes at all levels.

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“We are extremely excited and lucky to have someone of JD’s experience and passion joining the team in building awareness and development of Touch. JD has been an advocate for our game and understands the ability for Touch to connect with all ages, sizes and walks of life. With his role in USA Rugby and the recent strategic partnership we have formed with USA Rugby, this appointment will help us realize the synergies between the codes quicker than we had originally planned. Bringing someone on with the specific skill set JD has will only help us move the needle for what we are working to accomplish” said Hawea.

Along with the appointment of Stephenson, USA Touch is also excited to bring on board Jimmy Harrison as Head of Performance Analysis. Stephenson and Harrison both come from the USA Rugby U20 program and have already been invaluable in helping to build programs and analysis pieces for the greater development of the game.

“The addition of Jimmy in developing our key metrics and KPI’s will allow us to quantify what we are doing on the field that has previously been out of reach. This will be one closer step in closing the gap between the US and top Touch playing nations” added Hawea.

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USA Touch would like to congratulate the following group for their appointments as coaches for the 2019 Touch World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We are excited to have these individuals committed to the next 2 years to grow our player base and work towards taking 7 teams to Malaysia.

With our High Performance Directors of our men’s and women’s programs taking the lead in the top teams, we would like to announce the following appointments:

Men’s Open Head Coach – OJ Hawea
Men’s Open Assistant Coach – Craig Martin
Women’s Open Head Coach – Adrian Witte
Mixed Open Head Coach – Tristan Mana
Men’s 30’s Head Coach – TBD
Women’s 30’s Head Coach – Marc Sintes
Men’s 35’s Head Coach – Gary Harding
Men’s 40’s Head Coach – Tim O’Hara

The following events in 2017 will be opportunities to make oneself available for selection for any of these squads:

Portland, Oregon – 6/25/2017
New York, New York – 7/16/2017
San Francisco, California – 8/20/2017

Please visit the events page of the USA Touch website for information on these selection/filtering camps.

We are also taking applications for the Men’s 30’s Head Coaching position. Please contact OJ Haweafor details on this appointment

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