Long-time OURLFC coach, Dan Garbutt, has announced to the current squad that he will be stepping down after this year’s PCUBED Rugby League Varsity Match following 13 seasons with the club. Garbutt joined the club in 2004, initially as assistant to Paul Johnstone, and took over the reins for the 2006/07 season which saw the Blues win 20-14 against their Cambridge rivals overturning a record 44-0 varsity loss in 2006. During Garbutt’s tenure the club has experienced a period of unprecedented growth and success with a vibrant club ethos, a regular second team and strong performances in the in the BUCS leagues, including a stint in the top tier of University Rugby League. The team have performed strongly in the PCUBED Rugby League Varsity Match under Garbutt with 9 wins from his 10 in charge with a number of match records falling in the process.
Speaking regarding the decision Garbutt was keen to stress how difficult a decision this had been.
“Due to a new job that involves more travelling and evening working I’ve found balancing home life alongside coaching OURLFC to be too much of a challenge so I’ve come to the reluctant decision to step down as coach of OURLFC. Although this is absolutely the right decision for my family and I at this time it’s been incredibly tough to give up what is, in my opinion, the best coaching role in Student Rugby League. Coaching the club for over a decade has been life changing for me and I have met some of my closest and lifelong friends in the process.”
Tom James, who has coached at OURLFC for the last 4 seasons, will take over as Head Coach of the club for the 2017/18 season. Garbutt commented on James saying,
“The club is in great hands with Tom at the helm, he’s an excellent and highly experienced coach and has a superb understanding of how to develop these guys in particular. I’m sure Tom will want to stamp his own mark on the club but we’ve coached together professionally and in the amateur game for the best part of a decade so I’m sure the transition will be seamless. Furthermore, and possibly most importantly, he owns many pairs of coloured chinos which means he fits in nicely with the lads”
The club will be looking for an assistant coach to support Tom and will begin the process following the PCUBED Rugby League Varsity Match.