Mac’s White heads to New Zealand for R&R – rugby and research

McMaster men’s head rugby coach and kinesiology professor, Dr. Phil White, is taking a one-year research leave beginning on July 1, 2010.

A tenured professor with the McMaster School of Kinesiology for 23 years, White is traveling to New Zealand to deliver guest lectures at the University of Waikato (Hamilton, N.Z. and Tauranga, N.Z.) and the University of Auckland (Auckland, N.Z.). He will tap into a vibrant community of sociology scholars as he conducts research for a book he is writing on the sociology of the body. His book will focus on the recent cultural shift and primary emphasis on the individual’s physical appearance.

Already one of McMaster most successful coaches, having won Ontario University Athletics, Coach of the Year on four occasions en route to six OUA championship banners, White is also looking to bring back an expanded knowledge and a new competitive edge to the McMaster men’s rugby program.

While in New Zealand, White will look to immerse himself in the island nation’s rugby culture and bring back new ideas that he can use in the Canadian context. Rugby is regarded as the national sport of New Zealand, and home to the All Blacks, the number one ranked men’s rugby team in the world.

To assist with his immersion, White has arranged to be a guest coach and consultant to the Otago Highlanders, a professional Rugby Union team which competes in the Super 14, the largest Rugby Union Football Club championship in the southern hemisphere.

In his absence, former player and current assistant coach Shaun Allen will serve as the interim head coach. Allen will be assisted by Cal Stafford, Tyler Leggatt and Josh Boettger, all currently associated with the McMaster Men’s Rugby squad in various capacities.

McMaster Director of Athletics and Recreation, Jeff Giles commented that “Dr. White will be missed, but we look forward to him sharing the knowledge he will gain as a result of his experiences.

White will return to his coaching duties on July 1, 2011.