With roughly 100 student-athletes across both a men’s club and a women’s club — each participating in 7s tournaments in addition to a pre- and regular-season match schedule of up to 15 games — costs add up. From uniform kits, to travel expenses, and coaching staff wages, a top-tier rugby program like Cal Poly has a slew of costs in order to maintain our standing not just within our respective conferences, but nationally.
Coaching and Staff Salaries — 48%
The Cal Poly Rugby Club is one of the only “club” programs in California to employ full-time coaches — 1st-year men’s head coach Chris O’Brien and 5th-year women’s coach Zach Markow — and pay stipends to assistant coaches and managers. Assistant coaches Alex Frost and Andy Doukas assist with practices for the men’s squad, in addition to leading the B- and C-sides on match day. Former women’s player Hope Adams helps manage both clubs’ administrative duties.
Uniforms and Equipment — 19%
Student-athletes receive “kits” each season, which consists of Cal Poly Rugby-branded training shirts, warmup gear, shorts, socks, backpacks, and other miscellaneous gear. Merchandise is manufactured for players, alumni, and supporters to purchase at home matches, events, and fundraisers, too.
The club has its own shed on campus where critical training and workout equipment is housed. Weights and barbells, rugby balls, hitting pads, resistance bands, sleds, and much more. With our student-athletes hitting the practice fields three times a week, plus match days on most Saturdays, equipment takes a beating over the course of the season.
Miscellaneous — 14%
Recording matches for film sessions; USA Rugby affiliation fees; staff development through coaching clinics; guest coaching appearances for expert feedback; post-match social events with opposing teams; media costs for maintaining a robust online presence — all of it contributes to a successful program.
Travel Expenses — 10%
About half of the club’s matches each season are road matches. With in-conference opponents ranging anywhere from 100 (Santa Barbara, Calif. | UCSB) to 560 miles away (Phoenix, Arizona | Grand Canyon University), travel expenses can add up. Longer distances require large-capacity rental vans as well as food and lodging for players and staff.
Medical — 6%
It goes without saying that rugby players sustain their fair share of bumps and bruises. To help manage the attrition of a rugby season, in addition to keeping players as safe as possible on match day, the club has weekly “injury clinics” with certified physical therapists that players may attend, as well as athletic trainers on-scene during training sessions and on match day.
Facility — 3%
Venues need to be secured when last-minute changes are made in the lead-up to match day, and fees are paid to the university for maintenance of the practice fields by grounds-keeping staff.
Questions, comments, concerns?
Reach out to the CEO of Mustang Rugby, Inc. Doug Smith, or Director of Rugby Charles “Boo” Zanoli.
- Doug Smith | Email: Doug@thedanaisgroup.com
- Charles “Boo” Zanoli | Email: Czanoli@charter.net