Coach Q&A: Penn State’s Kate Daley
Pennsylvania State University has made quite a name for itself over the years its participated in the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, winning the women’s division the last three years in a row. Starting this season the team has chosen 2009 alumna Kate Daley as its head coach, after she served as interim head coach last year.
Daley began playing rugby in high school in the spring of 2002 and last year helped the team win its 10th national title in addition to taking its 7s team to a USA Rugby 7s National Championship. As an alumna she was a-time All-American and graduated from PSU with two national titles under her belt.
How’s the transition been from interim head coach to the official head coach?
We went through growing pains like any program does when you transition to a different head coach. But we all learned a lot as a coaching staff and as a team last year. As the interim head coach I think that this year has definitely gone smoother. The program itself has changed a lot and the amount of support that the university gives it since I was here. So I think that the expectations on the players are much higher as well.
Is their anything that you attribute to the support changes?
We have better access to strength and conditioning. More access to the weight room. More access to the varsity facilities. We have better access to health coverage. We have more consistent trainers.
If you could have only one of those things, which has been the most valuable for the team?
Having a consistent strength and conditioning coach really turned around the program in the last three or four years. It made us stronger and fitter- last year it probably made us the strongest team in the country. That has played a
As a part of a team with such a history of success, do you feel like that adds some pressure?
Obviously the players all want to win a national championship, but the big thing that we focus on is just playing our very best game, doing our best to work towards that and being the very best team that we can be. From that winning a national championship should just come on its own.
You’ve mentioned some changes for you guys, anything that’s come about in the last year?
Our logistical schedule hasn’t really changed. We’ve been trying to schedule as many higher level games as we can in terms of playing [Women’s Premier League] sides, individual women’s teams and things like that to help us continue to develop.
Students who participate in 7s still play when academics are through correct?
The USA Rugby 15s Championship is actually followed by our graduation so our seniors will be missing graduation. And then the majority of them will stuck around for the month leading up to the CRCs and the USA Rugby Championship.
Without classes going on do you practice more? What’s life like?
We try to mimic a 24-hour athlete lifestyle so we might have a skill session, a weight session and a practice. So we’re just running a little bit more like an academy during those three weeks.
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United World Sports (UWS) is the largest commercial rugby entity in the United States, and the owner and operator of a growing portfolio of dynamic sports, media and apparel brands including, the USA Sevens Rugby international tournament, the largest professional rugby event in North America; the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, the premier college 7s rugby championship; and the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup Championship, the 15s national rugby championship. Through its apparel division, UWS owns the exclusive North and South American license for Rhino Rugby, one of the world’s leading rugby apparel and equipment brands. UWS also owns and operates RugbyToday.com, the largest and most widely read media destination dedicated to American rugby. For more information about UWS and its properties, visit: http://www.unitedworldsports.com.
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