The New York City area has been a great hub for rugby activity. From the high level division 1 senior level rugby with the the Old Blues and NYAC programs, all the way through to the U19 rugby programs, like Xavier. Additionally, there are amazing Olympic level rugby academy programs that are associated directly with the area. So it’s no surprise that great coaches are going to reside there too. This week rugby coaches, Phaidra Knight and Koma Gandy Fischbein, were announced as the head coaches for two college programs.
Phaidra Knight, a former USA Rugby Eagles star and World Cup All World Team/MVP, will be pioneering the launch of a new women’s rugby program at Monroe College in New York. Knight is a member of the USA Rugby Congress and the Women’s Sports Foundation Athlete Advisory Board. Knight also is an alumni of Alabama State University and University of Wisconsin law center. Knight leading this new Monroe College rugby program will do wonders for the development of varsity rugby for women.
Koma Gandy Fischbein will be taking over as head coach for the All-Navy Men’s 7s rugby team for 2017. Gandy Fischbein is a veteran of the US Navy, and was commissioned as an officer in Harvard. She served during the 90s and was recommissioned during the Iraqi War. Gandy Fischbein has a long history in rugby, having played for at least 9 different teams in her playing career, including part of the Harvard women’s rugby team, and a two year stint in the USA Eagles National players pool. Gandy Fischbein also has a coaching resume that is almost as long as her players resume, where she coached for at least 7 rugby programs including, Armed Forces Women’s 7s, Colombia University 7s, and the New York Rugby Club. Gandy Fischbein’s experience and knowledge will go a long way to helping develop the All Navy Men’s rugby team.
Congratulations to both these women in their new endeavors and we wish them extreme success.