Campus Life

Experienced international coach to take helm of women's rugby program

The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns are excited to announce Richard Suggitt as the new head coach of the women’s rugby program. Suggitt becomes the third head coach in program history.

“Ric has been great to work with and we are very excited to have a coach of Ric’s calibre join the University where he builds on the excellence of our existing coaching staff," says Ken McInnes, Interim Executive Director of Sport and Recreation Services. “Ric’s appointment will only build on the legacy of success of the women’s rugby program and I believe is very forward looking on the part of the University and represents the University’s commitment to the program. This appointment sets our program apart and gives our women’s rugby program a real advantage.”

Originally from Edmonton, AB, Suggitt joins the program with a wealth of international coaching experience and is the current head coach of the USA National Senior Women’s Sevens program. Sevens rugby will make its inaugural appearance in the Olympics next year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He will remain with the USA Senior women’s sevens through to the Olympic Games while working with the U of L women’s team. Former head coach and three-time national champion Neil Langevin will serve as acting head coach while Suggitt is fulfilling his duties with the USA sevens team.

Earlier this month, Suggitt led the USA Women’s Sevens team to a silver medal at the Pan Am Games in Toronto.

“When looking at the opportunity to join the U of L Pronghorns program it was an easy decision to make,” says Suggitt. “The University has made it possible for me to join full time after the 2016 Olympics. The University is looking to build a world class athletic and academic environment and that is something that excites me.”

“From my past experiences in Canada I was privileged to do some work with Neil Langevin. It is my pleasure to have Neil back at the University coaching and guiding the team in my absence,” adds Suggitt. “Along with Neil, we have Toby Boulet fulfilling the role as manager, and with his experience over the years we are in capable hands. We will also be retaining the services of Rob Kossuth, Shannon Court and Norm McDougal from the previous coaching staff as we sort out the transition over the next year.”

Suggitt has also spent time with the Canadian National program, coaching numerous Canadian teams of both genders. From 1999 to 2007, he spent time leading the Senior Women’s 15s, Senior Men’s Sevens, Women’s U23, U19 and the Senior Men’s 15s teams.

No stranger to the University scene, Suggitt served as an assistant and interim head coach with the University of Victoria men’s team. He was the interim head coach in 1998. His experience also includes provincial level teams in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The Horns will open training camp in mid-August and host just one conference game this season, when defending Canada West Champion University of Alberta Pandas visit Lethbridge on Oct. 4.