Mac’s Allen handed province’s top coaching role

Former McMaster rugby star and interim coach Shaun Allen has been named by Rugby Ontario to the full-time position of Ontario Provincial Head Coach.

Allen helped the Marauders capture three Ontario University Athletics championships during his four-year playing career (2003-07) before joining the coaching staff. He took over as interim head coach in 2010 while regular coach Phil White was on sabbatical, and guided McMaster to another Ontario title, being named OUA Coach of the Year for his efforts.

Allen was also recently named as an assistant coach for Rugby Canada’s Under-20 national team, which will compete at the 2012 IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy.

The Mac grad will work with provincial representative teams with a wide mandate. Using Rugby Ontario’s long term development model, he will work towards engaging clubs across Ontario through an outreach program. He will assist clubs and community coaches with best practices, mentoring and the development of the game.

”Shaun has a real enthusiasm for growing the sport,” says Rugby Ontario Technical Director Andrew Hall, “and I have no doubt he can handle the wide breadth of the Provincial Head Coach’s responsibilities.”

Allen, who also coaches the Ontario Blues Under-19 squad, has a wealth of playing experience and has been a long serving Aurora Barbarians player, including his captaincy of a McCormick Cup winning effort in 2009.

Off the field, he has shown his ability as an administrator of the game through tenures in a variety of executive positions on the board of the Aurora Barbarians RFC. And, for the past two years he has served as Rugby Ontario’s Technical Services Coordinator. His ability to develop the game has been readily apparent and, as an IRB Educator and NCCP Learning Facilitator, he is no stranger to working with coaches at all levels on current best practices.

Andrew Backer, Executive Director of Rugby Ontario, is looking forward to working with Allen in his new position.

”Shaun has a good understanding of the issues facing sport in Ontario and he has already had success in developing the technical aspects of the game and in the administration of programs.”

Allen will assume his duties as Provincial Head Coach in May. He will continue as the Blues U19 Coach.