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Head Coach and Coaching Manager


Start Date

Job Description

The University of Portsmouth Rugby Club is one of the biggest university rugby clubs in the South of England. The club puts out six teams on a Wednesday afternoon, including a women's team, across a range of competitions, including the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) leagues and the RFU South East Merit Table competition. In addition the club plays in the Hampshire County Cup and plays a number of friendly fixtures through the season.

The club's main training session is on a Monday night between 6.30pm and 8.30pm (coaches meeting at 6pm) at Portsmouth Rugby Football Club when all six teams train, with over a hundred players present at most sessions. The club season runs from late September to the end of March, with a two week pre-season prior to the start of term for returning players.

The club also organises additional fitness training sessions during the week, which are led by club members with experience of and interest in fitness training.

The club had a successful season in 2012/13 with two teams winning their leagues and the club winning the BUCS South East Conference Cup. The aspiration for the upcoming season is to maintain this level of success whilst maintaining the six teams.

Whilst ensuring the teams and the club as a whole maintain a good level of results, the over-arching aim for the head coach is the retention of players in the club through high-quality and enjoyable training sessions and by contributing to maintaining an inclusive and friendly environment in which all members feel welcome. A key component of this will be recruiting additional assistant coaches and managing the current enthusiastic and committed coaching group, to ensure a good coach to player ratio is maintained at training sessions.

The successful candidate should be able to cater for the needs of all players in the club, ranging from beginners (often including overseas students trying rugby for the first time) to players who have played National League, senior County and Divisional Age Group Rugby.

This is a challenging role that will require significant commitment and a high level of enthusiasm but also offers the opportunity for significant job satisfaction, enjoyment and development as a lead coach.

Monday: 6-9pm (training) – three hours
Wednesday: 1-4pm (home matches, priority given to first team but the successful candidate will be expected to coach the club’s other teams for home games when the first team has an away fixture) – three hours
Thursday/Friday: selection meeting – one hour

This is a part-time role, with the expected number of hours detailed below

Number of hours: 
Seven hours of contact time per week for 20–22 weeks of the year during term time, totals 140 hours. In addition it is expected that the coach will commit to the necessary preparation time to deliver a high quality coaching programme. In addition the role will entail contributing to the organisation and delivery of the Freshers Week Taster day (8am to 6pm on the Friday of Freshers week) and potentially delivering sessions as part of an agreed pre-season programme. Attendance at some weekend games if available (including Varsity).

Payment is available for this position in line with the University of Portsmouth Students’ Union pay scale for student sports club coaches and will depend on the successful candidate’s prior experience and qualifications. Employment will be through the Students’ Union.

Responsible For:

  • Planning of training sessions with assistant coaches, club captain and team captains to cater for all members of the club. All sessions must maximise the involvement of all players whilst developing individual players and each team
  • Leading the delivery of Monday night training
  • Recruitment of suitable assistant coaches to ensure all players receives appropriate coaching
  • Manage coaching staff on Monday night training and oversee all training
  • Attend home matches at Langstone campus on Wednesday afternoons (priority given to first team matches but the expectation is that the head coach will attend other teams’ matches when the first team are playing away)
  • Have an active role/say/opinion in the running of the playing side of the club to ensure all members are treated equally and fairly
  • Meet with captains to select teams each week, act as the final arbiter on decisions and ensure that selection decisions are done based on playing ability and a transparent and open process is followed
  • Act as a mentor to captains to help develop their performance in their roles
  • Liaise with higher committee and players on all matters surrounding player participation / development
  • Set playing goals and objectives for club and individual teams with club captain and relevant team captain
  • Provide constructive feedback to coaches on training sessions
  • Provide constructive feedback to players on training sessions and on matches that you have viewed at Langstone campus
  • Ensure injured players have an active role within training sessions

Qualifications and Experience

  • Ideally will hold a RFU / UKCC Level 3 Coaching Qualification or a recognised equivalent or can demonstrate significant relevant coaching experience (essential)
  • Demonstrate a track record of personal coach development (essential)
  • Articulate and deliver a clear playing and coaching philosophy that is in accordance with the objectives of the club (essential)
  • Self-motivated, committed and enthusiastic about coaching rugby union (essential)
  • Significant experience of coaching young adults, preferably at university level. Ideally would have experience of coaching at higher level (National League, Age Group divisional) and also with social level players (essential)
  • Experience of coaching and leading the playing side of a club with multiple teams and sizeable player numbers at training sessions (desirable)
  • Able to produce an annual club training programme and club sessions plans which will cater for the needs of over 100 players, utilising the knowledge and skills of a team of coaches (essential)
  • Strongly biased towards a player-centred approach to coaching (essential)
  • Create an environment that balances player development with team performance (essential)
  • Able to lead & manage people (essential)
  • Able to articulate and deliver sound coaching processes relative to the club needs (essential)
  • Set high standards of personal accountability, reliability and responsibility for the players and staff (essential)
  • Able to work effectively with other members of the coaching team and the club’s committee (essential)
  • Committed to promoting and acting in accordance with the RFU’s Core Values for the game
  • Recent and relevant experience of working with, or in sports clubs and preferably in a rugby environment within or linked to the education sector (desirable)
  • Experience of mentoring and developing young leaders (desirable)

Applications should be made by sending a detailed CV, supported by a covering letter in which you identify, in your opinion, the main challenges of coaching a university rugby club and how you would seek to meet those challenges.

Applications must be sent to Nicholas Parker, 93 Meon Road, Southsea, PO4 8NW or preferably by email to 

For any questions, please contact Nick at the above email address or on 07843 343518 or Tom Drewett, the outgoing Head Coach, on 07878 722123. 

Application Deadline

12 July 2013

Closing Date

12 July 2013