Koma Gandy has been appointed head coach for the Village Lions’ men’s XVs for Fall of 2020.
Dates for the Fall season have not yet been set and will follow guidance provided by World Rugby, USA Rugby, the Empire GU, as well as the state and city of New York.
It’s been a frustrating year for all rugby players, but we’re all doing our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by not gathering for training, matches, or socials. At the same time, the Lions are making sure plans are in place to hit the ground running as soon as it is safe to restart play. That includes keeping focused on what can be accomplished under quarantine.
“During the season, it’s often hard to find space to heal and recharge. Hopefully, we can apply the time away from the game to prepare our minds and bodies to be even more ready when the day finally comes for us to get together and do work.”Koma Gandy
“As disappointing as this unexpected situation may be for us,” shared Koma, “we can use this time to find creative ways to prepare for our eventual return to the pitch. During the season, it’s often hard to find space to heal and recharge. Hopefully, we can apply the time away from the game to prepare our minds and bodies to be even more ready when the day finally comes for us to get together and do work.”
Koma first became of the Lions’ coaching family when she was put in charge of the men’s 7s program in July of 2017. Previous coaching roles for Koma include USA Rugby Club All-Star Program (Head Coach), a member of the USA Rugby Women’s Age Grade Coach Development Program; All Navy Men’s 7s (Head Coach); New York Rugby Club (Head Coach 7s, Assistant Coach 15s); and ROOTS (Founding Coach). Koma also completed programs at the US Olympic’s Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center with both the US Men’s and Women’s National 7s Teams. Early in 2020, Koma spent two weeks embedded with the Connacht Rugby coaching teams.
“While it remains uncertain when we can return to play,” offered club president, JP Lindsey, “I’m confident that Coach Koma’s expertise and leadership will guide us to where we want to be as a team.”
Director of Rugby John Greally welcomes the appointment. “We’ve known for the last few years how talented Koma is as a coach. She came back from her experience working with Andy Friend and Connacht with new insights into 15s rugby and enthusiasm to apply her knowledge, only for the COVID-19 pandemic to lead to the cancellation of our Summer Sevens season. This way Koma can still bring her experience to our Men’s program, a perfect opportunity for her, and massively valuable for our club, a great win-win situation.”
Koma is looking forward to her new challenge. “We will focus on the fundamentals, since we all might be a bit rusty from time away from each other, and build on those week after week to define our style of play. I look forward to finally getting to work with such a resilient and passionate group of athletes.”
More information on the club’s rugby programs will follow.
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