- Sir Ian McGeehan returns 'home' to Yorkshire
- I am delighted to have this opportunity - McGeehan
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Last month, RFU Championship club Leeds Carnegie welcomed Sir Ian McGeechan ‘home’ to Yorkshire as the club’s new Executive Chairman, succeeding Paul Caddick.
The former Scotland and British & Irish Lions Head Coach only played for one club during his 16-season-playing career, Headingley RFC, who merged with Roundhay RUFC in 1992 to form the Leeds club. Proud of his Yorkshire roots, he returns to Headingley Carnegie in an executive position, heading up the Rugby Union club and working with Director of Rugby Chris Gibson and Head Coach Diccon Edwards on a number of key initiatives to build a sustainable and successful future for the Yorkshire club.
Departing Chairman Paul Caddick said: “I am delighted that Sir Ian McGeechan has accepted this new position with the club. The Board of Directors have always looked to make decision to continually move the club forward and I believe this appointment is one of the most significant signings we have ever made. I will continue to be a major supporter of the club in my role as Chairman of Leeds Rugby and look forward to welcoming Ian home for the new season.”
Commenting on the appointment, Chief Executive Gary Hetherington said: “Sir Ian McGeechan is someone who is admired and respected throughout the sporting world. He has played and coached at the very highest levels across the eras in rugby union from the amateur days, the transition to the professional game and in modern times at Wasps, Gloucester and Bath. I would like to place on record our gratitude and thanks to Paul Caddick for his continued support of the club and agreeing to step down as Chairman to allow Ian to join Leeds Carnegie.
“Ian will have a number of key objectives that are not focused on coaching that he will be aiming to deliver on as we look to strengthen our business and fulfil our potential by returning to the Premiership. As well as his obvious rugby expertise, Ian will also work closely with our Commercial Director Rob Oates and Business Development Manager John Bentley to attract new sponsors and partners to the club.
"Although he is well known for his connections to Scotland and the Lions, he is a passionate Yorkshireman and importantly passionate about Rugby Union in Yorkshire and his addition to our Board of Directors is a major boost to the county."
Potential of youth within best possible structure - McGeechan
Following the announcement, McGeechan said: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to come back to where it all started for me and give something back to my club. I want to do everything I can to help develop the strong base there is already established here so that Yorkshire talent continues to be given an opportunity to shine at Leeds Carnegie. I have been involved with setting up and developing a number of academies in my career and as an ex-school master I know the potential of youth within the best possible structure.
“An important part of my role will be to build relationships with businesses, sponsors and clubs across Yorkshire to create ultimately a sustainable base to build professional rugby here. The role of Executive Chairman is a new role for me but one that I am very excited about.
"I am keen to support the club in any way I can. I was fortunate in my early Headingley days to be guided by older, wiser players who helped shape me as an individual and now all these years on, things have come full circle and I have the opportunity to do exactly the same."