I first met Coach Marcus Hurley in the summer of 2006 at the Midwest Boys U-19 All-Star Tournament (now RCT). We were patrolling the opposite sidelines as I coached the Illinois Tornados side and he the Midwest U-17 All Stars. The Tornados were victorious on the pitch that day capturing one of 4 consecutive Midwest Championships; both teams were successful in developing players for HSAA consideration. Many of these same athletes would go on to college scholarships at top programs including Life, Davenport, and Arkansas State with some later gaining recognition as Men's Collegiate All Americans.
Since then our paths have crossed several times - I coached Northwestern University Men while he coached at Indiana University. He continued building men's collegiate rugby in the Midwest and regenerated Big Ten Rugby with a pre-season XVs tournament that grew into hotly contested conference play and now a spring 7s championships. That IU team most recently won the fall XVs title and has featured at the USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship notably making it into the Cup Quarterfinals last spring. He is still actively playing and coaching, running camps, coordinating youth rugby, and growing the sport with a new academy coming soon to Indianapolis - so lengthy philosophical chats have strengthened our relationship over the years.
Marcus was a natural choice to join our Stars Rugby 7s coaching staff when family commitments left Coach Joel Bonnaud unable travel for the Las Vegas Invitational. We will miss Joel this tour as his commitment to developing youth rugby and positive, player-focused coaching style has been an asset to our Women's Developmental sides. Yet, I have no hesitations as with Marcus we find a capable coach bringing a wealth of 7s knowledge, game analysis, and player development that matches our mission.
Marcus will lead the Women's 2nd side in the Elite bracket and has spent the last weeks studying the game film of our opposition as well as familiarizing himself players' pre-tour profiles and has been planning sessions with Women's 1st side Coach Liam Hutchinson. Marcus's professionalism and demeanor, his own commitment to growth as a coach and administrator, and history with the game benefit the program. With is academy growing back home this should be a beneficial exchange of coaching/ideas/best practices/players for more decades to come!
Here's more on Coach Marcus:
Marcus Hurley is a professional coach, administrator and general advocate for the sport that he loves, rugby. Marcus has dedicated much of his nearly 20 year coaching career to the growth and development of the youth and collegiate game in Indiana and throughout the Midwest for both men and women. Marcus founded the Big Ten Universities Rugby Conference, served as head coach of Indiana University Men's Rugby team and has won several championships with Rugby Indiana All-Stars as head coach.