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Hounds Confirm 2024 Coaching & Performance Staff

February 24, 2024 - Major League Rugby (MLR)
Chicago Hounds News Release

CHICAGO, IL- Chicago Hounds head coach Sam Harris today confirmed his coaching and performance staff for the 2024 Major League Rugby season. Dave Clancy returns for his second season as the Attack and Backs Coach. Rob Webber, who joined the Hounds in the offseason, signed on to lead the forwards.

Dave Clancy, Backs & Attack Coach

Clancy was brought into the Hounds' clubhouse to orchestrate the Chicago attack and lead the backs before the 2023 season. The Limerick, Ireland native began his coaching career with the Munster Academy while completing his degree in Sports and Exercise Science.

Clancy parlayed the opportunity with Munster into roles within the strength and conditioning department for the Samoan National program in 2011. After his time in Samoa, Clancy spent three months as the Head Coach of the Cayman Islands national team. In 2016, the Irishman made his way north and signed on as the Chicago Lion's Director of Rugby. His success with the Lions earned Clancy the head coaching role at UCLA in 2020.

Prior to his return to Chicago, Clancy was the lead man for the LA Giltinis' Academy side. He signed with the team prior to their first season in Major League Rugby in 2021 and led the team of aspiring MLR players for two seasons.

Rob Webber, Forwards Coach

This is the first MLR appointment for Forwards Coach Rob Webber, who makes the move to Chicago after spending the last two seasons as the Head Coach of the Jersey Reds, competing in the RFU Championship.

During the 2022-2023 season, the former English-international led the Reds to their first ever RFU Championship. Webber's team finished with a 20-1-1 record, recording 100 table points over the course of the 22-game season. They recorded a point differential of +413, scoring 804 points while only allowing 319.

In the 2021-2022 season, Webber's first year as the Reds' lead man, the team finished 13-6-1 and recorded 69 table points. They finished fourth in the table standings, scoring 596 points while allowing 436 for a point differential of +160.

Prior to Webber's head coaching role with the Reds, he spent the 2020-2021 season as their Forwards Coach, his first foray into coaching professional rugby. Jersey finished the season with a 5-5 record, including four wins in their last five contests. The season was truncated to only 10-rounds after Covid-19.

Matt Wagner, Team Manager

Long-time Chicago rugby stalwart Matt Wagner signed with the Hounds this past fall as the Team Manager for the 2024 season. After successful coaching stints with Purdue University, the Illinois Women College All Stars, and the Chicago Lions, Wagner was appointed as the Director of Rugby for the Lions last January.

Andy Jones, Lead Performance Analyst

Another new face on the performance and coaching staff is Lead Performance Analyst Andy Jones. The Welshman brings with him a wealth of experience to the Hounds' brain trust. Jones' prior work experience includes the England National Sevens team, the 2015 Namibian World Cup team, Grenoble in the French ProD2, and Pau in the Top 14. Jones will be assisted by intern Matthew Sheehan throughout the year.

Jamie Beamish, Head of Performance

The 2024 Hounds' performance team is led by Head of Performance Jamie Beamish. The Englishman first got started with MLR in 2019 when he spent two seasons as a Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Diego Legion. After helping the Legion to an MLR final appearance, Beamish signed with the Austin Gilgronis in 2021. He spent two seasons with the Austin based-franchise before signing with the Hounds prior to last season.

Luke Lewis, Assistant Forwards and Strength & Conditioning Coach

Luke Lewis joins Beamish as a full-time member of the performance staff for the Hounds' second season in MLR. In addition to working with Beamish, Lewis will assist Rob Webber in coaching the forwards.

Jake Rafferty, Sports Data Scientist

The last addition to the Performance Staff for the 2024 season is Sports Data Scientist Jake Rafferty. With various data streams being fed to the performance staff every day, Rafferty will assist Beamish in parsing through that data to make informed decisions around programming.

The performance team is assisted by interns Naomi Noguera and Amy Burkett.

Kyle Lucas, Head of Medical

Kyle Lucas returns as the Hounds' Head of Medical for the 2024 campaign. Before moving to Chicago, Lucas worked with Sam Harris and the Austin Gilgronis for two seasons, helping them achieve the best record in the Western Conference in 2022.

Samantha Malette, Lead Athletic Trainer

Chicago's Lead Athletic Trainer, Samantha Malette, is also set to return to Dawg Town for her second season on staff. Malette spent five years with Life University as the Men's rugby program's Lead Athletic Trainer. She linked up with Harris and the Gilgronis before the 2022 MLR season and now prepares for her third season working on his staff.

The medical team is assisted by intern Monica Rapciak.

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