National Coaches Week - Provincial Coaching Biographies
As part of National Coaches Week, we are profiling some of our Junior Blues head coaches and saying #ThanksCoach for all they do for our program. Head to our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to join us in saying #ThanksCoach!
Head Coach: Ian McLeod
Representative Team: U17 Men
Coach Ian McLeod has been coaching rugby in Ontario for over 25 years and has been coaching at the junior level with Rugby Ontario since 2008. Having started his coaching career with Upper Canada College in 1988, McLeod went on to take over the head coaching job at the Markham Irish Rugby Football Club – where he won five Provincial championships from 2005-2010 (3 of which were undefeated seasons).
As a Junior level provincial coach with Rugby Ontario, McLeod has coached at the U14-U18 level since 2008 and continues to contribute to Rugby Ontario’s High-Performance program as a Winter Skills instructor. Besides coaching for Rugby Ontario’s Jr. Blues program – McLeod has been heavily involved within Ontario University Athletics (OUA) having coached at Brock University (2012), the University of Toronto (2013-2014), and as the current head coach of the Men’s varsity rugby program at Wilfrid Laurier University (2014 – present).
Beyond his commitment and involvement with Rugby Ontario, McLeod is currently the Director at the Ruck Head Rugby Academy (2013 – present) and a Scout for Rugby Canada (2016 – present). Adding to McLeod’s extensive rugby resume – he is a World Rugby (Level 1) Strength and Conditioning coach as well as a Certified (Level 3) Technical rugby coach.
Head Coach: Kyle Ripley
Representative Team: U16 Men
Coach Kyle Ripley has been coaching within Ontario’s rugby sector for 12 years. Most notably, Ripley has been associated with the Belleville Bulldogs Rugby Club for over a decade, having taken on various roles with the club.
As an established high school rugby coach in the Bay of Quinte region – Ripley has been coaching for the last eight years with two different championship teams, Quinte Secondary School (OFSAA champions) and Bayside Secondary School (Barbarian Cup & OFSAA Champions).
With his NCCP (Level 2) – Ripley has been coaching in the OCAA at Loyalist College over the past four years. Ripley is in his second season with the U16 Men’s program and his 5th season with the high performance program.
Head Coach: Jeremy Cairnie
Representative Team: U15 Men
Jeremy has been consistently involved in Ontario’s rugby community since he started playing in high school. When he moved to Toronto, he joined the Toronto Scottish RFC where he played for nine years before hanging up the boots to become a coach. He started out as the youth development officer with the Scottish and was awarded Club Member of the Year in 2013. He then went on to became the Women’s XV head coach in 2015. Jeremy is also the head coach for the Seneca Sting Senior Women’s 7’s program, capturing an OCAA bronze medal in 2016.
Cairnie volunteers his time to the Toronto Inner City Rugby Foundation (TIRF) rep program for 15’s and 7’s, and has coached several high school teams including Earl Haig girls, Royal St. George’s, Leaside girls and North Toronto boys. Jeremy has been involved with Rugby Ontario for the past 4 years in their development of athletes and has been the U15 Men’s head coach for the past two seasons.
Head Coach: Amber Purins
Representative Team: U16 Women
Coach Amber Purins is in her fifth year coaching with Rugby Ontario. She started as an Assistant Coach with the U16 women and has been the Head Coach of the program for the last three years. While working with the U16 program she has coached her teams to two Canadian Rugby Championship (CRC) gold medals and one silver medal finish.
Amber has also spent the last six years as an Assistant Coach to the McMaster University varsity women’s team. Also a previous player and Captain at McMaster, Amber helped coach the Marauders to a CIS National Championship in 2015, a CIS silver medal in 2014, two OUA gold medals, one OUA silver, and two OUA bronze medals.
Coach Amber has also been a part of several clubs around Ontario as a player and coach. As a Level 2 Certified Coach, she is currently helping as the Assistant Coach of the Oakville Crusaders Senior Women’s Team.
Outside of coaching rugby, Amber practices as a Chiropractor in the city of Burlington.
Head Coach: Rebecca Delaney
Representative Team: U18 Women Elite
Rebecca Delaney’s coaching philosophy is to encompass a positive attitude and approach with an environment that gives opportunity for growth and development. Delaney aims to create a true rugby culture that provides an optimal learning environment to create well-rounded athletes, on and off the field.
Daleney’s career as a player started at the Oakville Crusaders Rugby Club which then transitioned into a three-year Varsity playing career at McMaster University (2009-2011). Leading up to her Varsity days at Mac, Delaney was a significant part of Canada’s National U19 and U20 programs – having gone on four national tours as a player from 2006-2010.
Coach Delaney took her first head coaching job in 2010 with the Crusaders U18 Girls team – since then, she has been a crucial piece in turning young women into elite rugby players throughout Canada. Having coached at the provincial level with Rugby Ontario for over seven years, Delaney has also coached at some Canada’s most established private schools, Shawnigan Lake School (Shawnigan Lake, BC) and Appleby College (Oakville, ON).
Being able to work with the next generation of players and coaches has always been a highlight for Coach Delaney. Since 2014, she has landed coaching positions at two different Ontario Universities - taking over the Women’s Rugby Programs at Brock University (2014-2015) and the University of Waterloo (2016 – present).
Beyond Rebecca’s on-field experience as a player, she has a collection of certifications that has helped her gain such prominence within Ontario’s High-Performance sector: NCCP Comp Intro Certified (World Rugby Level 2), World Rugby Coach Educator (Level 1), Certified World Rugby 7s (Level 1), Certified World Rugby Referee (Level 1), Certified World Rugby Strength and Conditioning (Level 1), Smart Rugby Certified, High Five Rugby Certified, Rugby Ready Certified
Head Coach: Sean Dunleavy
Representative Team: U18 Women 'A'
Coach Sean Dunleavy is currently in his 10th season as head coach of the Ontario Jr Blues Women’s 15s program – having coached throughout the U16-U18 age group since 2007.
Having played his varsity rugby career at Brock University and Trent University, Sean has been heavily involved within Ontario University Athletics (OUA) not only as a player – but as a strategist with the Queens Gaels women’s rugby program since 2001.
Working as a backs coach, skills coach, development coach, defensive coach and sevens coach at the national and provincial level – Sean’s proven ability to take on various personnel roles makes him a valuable asset to Rugby Ontario’s High-Performance sector. In the process of completing his World Rugby Competition Development level 3 Coaching Certification – Sean is looking to add more to his already notable rugby resume.
ABOUT RUGBY ONTARIO
Rugby Ontario is the provincial sports governing body responsible for the organization of rugby in Ontario. Our mission is to establish a stronger identity for rugby in Ontario by promoting the sport’s core values and by fostering a culture of inclusiveness and excellence on and off the field of play.
To learn more, visit http://www.rugbyontario.com/
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High Performance and Communications Intern