Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Stars Bring On Palmer College of Chiropractic Coach Joe Lippert

It is easy to look at Stars Rugby 7s as a vehicle solely for player development but one of the other key aspects is in coaching opportunities. Nearly every rugby player in the USA has been part of a practice where perhaps 10 players are at a training because of weather, work or personal obligations - and that will continue as long as rugby is an amateur, mostly club level sport. We all began as crossover athletes and rookies to rugby and nearly every fall and spring 15s season and summer 7s cycle begins with an influx of new players, going back to the basics of the game, and slowly evolving with the goal of hitting peak performance at that season's national championship only to reset once again the next season. The continuum of player and team development is full of stops, starts and unknowns. 

To give coaches the opportunity to work with athletes with guaranteed numbers and discipline at practice, with the ability to plan sessions anticipating a level of athleticism, ball handling & tackling, and to provide coaches the chance to develop their own skills with each tour is a valuable tool. On Stars tours coaches get to focus and ONLY coach rather than serve as recruiters, scouts, administrators, travel coordinators, videographers and financiers. Some of our coaches get to "coach up" beyond the college or local club level. Some get to focus on pure 7s tactics. Some get the challenge of working with a different gender, with different players outside of their regions, or to experiment with different systems. And they get to reassess and deploy their tactics in a controlled environment and in organized tournament settings over the course of a few days of play. Having USA Rugby's Director of Coach Development Josh Sutcliffe as a part of our coaching team has been a huge asset; having instant access to his suggestions, thoughts, and feedback has improved our staff and provided practical opportunities for additional development as well as long term dialogs. The more coaches we can integrate into Stars with both fantastic rugby experiences and a passion to learn as a coach, the better. Ultimately we want to refer coaches for additional opportunities like Elite City 7s, the new women's elite coaching opportunities via the revived NASC weekends, or for Hawks & Falcons tours!

Joe Lippert is a coach I've known for several years in the Midwest; I have been constantly impressed with the success he has achieved on the pitch as player in 15s and 7s (including playing for Stars Coach Sam's Youngbloodz 7s program that has included Stars players Kaelene Lundstrum, Ashley Perry, Pate Takeivikata, Carter Beelman and Lee Hoskins) and in leading teams from the sidelines. Just barely 30 years old, Joe has consecutive national playoff appearances under his belt as the coach of the Wisconsin Rugby Club and a USA Rugby Men's Division 2 National Championship title. 

Joe has moved on from our Wisconsin days to take on the prestigious post of coaching Palmer College of Chiropractic (following fellow Stars Coach NeMani) which for years led the Midwest Division 1 Men's Club ranks with a string of USA Rugby Sweet 16 and Final Four appearances. Joe has been key in developing their new women's club side and we have chatted many a time about players and recruitment opportunities. I cannot think of another young coach that has accomplished as much as Joe and Stars will give him the chance to focus again on 7s as, to date, Palmer has been a 15s-only program. He'll be a stellar addition to our coaching staff and be able to provide many of our athletes with the chance explore Palmer's academic opportunities and rugby scholarships!

Joe sent his rugby bio:

2003-2008 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Captain, Club President
2007 & 2008 WI Collegiate Select Side
2008-2011 YoungBloodz 7s
2012-2013 Wisconsin Rugby Club 7s
2007-present Bangkok Southerners, Annual Player & Tourist

2007-2008 UW-Eau Claire Player-Coach
2009 & 2010 WI Collegiate Select Side Assistant  
& Head coach
2011-2013 Wisconsin Rugby Club Head Coach
     *2012 National Runners-Up Division 2 Men's Club
     *2013 National Champions D2 Men's Club
2014-present Palmer College of Chiropractic,  
Head Coach Men’s D1 & Women’s D2

I want to join the Stars Family because…Touring rugby changed my life for the better and I want to contribute and facilitate similar experiences for talented young American rugby players.  Stars Rugby has quickly established itself as a top touring side and a special group of people.  Seeing the camaraderie on display in Las Vegas and in the program’s social media updates has given me great vibes and made me hungry to tour and coach in the high-performance environment Stars Rugby competes in.  Talented young American ruggers deserve the opportunity to compete with and against the best.  I look forward to being a part of America’s fastest-growing elite rugby touring side/family.  Hopefully, I can open the door (and offer scholarships!) to some talented Stars who may be interested in chiropractic as a future career.  

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