By David Halvorson Jr. | Communications Manager | USA Rugby- Friday February 24, 2012
Tomasi Waqa is inspiring America to fall in love with rugby every day. He is the coach of the BYU Women’s Rugby team, the coach of the Humless Men’s Rugby Club, a U-20 NASC Selector and between the three he balances a family life with two children, his duties as President of the Utah Fiji association, and an active member of the LDS Church. Whether it be on the pitch or not, Tomasi Waqa’s life is dedicated to helping others and because of this selflessness, coupled with coaching excellence, he has been chosen as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Volunteer Coach of the Year for Rugby.
Christine Bolger, Manager of Coaching Education at the USOC, outlined the Coach of the Year Program as a means to help develop coaching and bring the positive influence that coaches have to attention. “The goals of the USOC Coach of the Year Program are to elevate the status of coaching as a profession and to recognize coaches who prepare our athletes for performance at every level of sport.”
Waqa came to the United States from Fiji when he was 19 years old and with him he brought a great knowledge and enthusiasm for rugby. This knowledge helped him take over the head coaching position at the BYU Women’s Rugby Club in 2004.
Over the past seven seasons the BYU Women’s Rugby Club has become a national power and in recent years have produced multiple All-Americans; Kristi Jackson, Monica Jackson, and Rebekah Siebach are just three from the 2011 team. With such high standards set, one would think that Waqa is extremely exclusive when selecting his players. But this is not the case at all.