Thursday, September 20, 2018

Emerick Takes New Role With Sabercats

Press Release

The Major League Rugby Houston SaberCats are pleased to announce the arrival of new Skills Coach, Paul Emerick, first capped by the USA Eagles in 2003. With collegiate level experience and more than a decade of professional rugby experience internationally, Emerick’s arrival into Houston has elevated not only the SaberCats’ organization but that of the local West Houston Rugby Club to which he has also signed on as Head Coach.

“I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Houston SaberCats organization as a skills coach and Head Coach of the West Houston Lions organization,” said Emerick. “The SaberCats’ dedication to not only grow the game at a professional level, but to give a structured pathway for aspiring professional and international players to develop is second to none. I am looking forward to helping develop rugby at a professional level and also to help grow the game and provide a professional setting for players in the Houston area.” 

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Emerick is no stranger to the game of rugby, first getting his start at the University of Northern Iowa before advancing onto senior rugby with the Chicago Lions and then the USA Eagles, where he made his international playing debut. Spending the majority of his professional career abroad, Emerick played in Italy and Ireland before finding himself in London where he eventually announced his retirement in August 2013. 

“We are very excited to have Paul join us at the SaberCats,” said SaberCats Head Coach, Justin M. Fitzpatrick. “He comes to us with a storied player career and is one of the most recognizable Eagles of the last decade. Since retirement, Paul has built a respectable reputation in the collegiate world as a talented young coach, most recently coaching the collegiate All-Americans to a victory over the Glendale Raptors. Alongside being the SaberCats Skills Coach, Paul will be Head Coach of the SaberCats’ partner program, the West Houston Lions, ensuring seamless continuity in our pathway so that young talented players in the Greater Houston area have every opportunity to chase their MLR dreams and become a SaberCat. We are pleased to welcome Paul to the SaberCats family and look forward to working with him.” 

The SaberCats are developing a rugby pathway both internally through their Academy and through their partnership with the West Houston Lions. The pathway starts with the West Houston Lions, where players as young as three years old can start their rugby journey. The SaberCats Academy is divided into four age groups, starting with high school students, all the way through post-high school professional players. At the Academy, SaberCats players and coaches offer their experience to help aspiring rugby professionals refine their skills. 

As the new Skills Coach for the SaberCats, Emerick’s responsibilities will primarily include assisting the backs and developing their rugby attack techniques, as he, himself, was a center during his career with the USA Eagles.

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