Shaun Allen’s incredible first season at the helm of the McMaster Marauders women’s rugby team did not go unnoticed.
The Marauders’ head coach of the Ontario University Athletics champions and Canadian Interuniversity Sport silver medal team was named Rugby Canada’s Male Coach of the Year at the organization’s annual awards dinner in Langford, B.C., Thursday (April 16).
A former member of the Marauder men’s team — who helped McMaster to three OUA titles — Allen had previously served as interim head coach of that team in 2010. He assumed full-time head coaching duties of the women’s program in 2014 and instantly made his influence felt with a strong recruiting crop.
His new additions, including the recipient of the Mel and Marilyn Hawkrigg Award for McMaster Rookie of the Year, Sara Svoboda, helped an established core of talent reach new heights. The Marauders finished the year with their most successful season in history (4-1 in regular season play), winning their first OUA title and matching their best-ever finish at the CIS Championship by securing silver.
Allen and the Marauders followed with a defense of the team’s title at the Canadian University Sevens Championship, handily defeating the University of Victoria Vikes, 31-5.