Following a second-straight season in which the Glendale Raptors women took home the Women’s Premier League (WPL) championship, head coach Mark Bullock was recognized as a 2015 USA Rugby Coach of the Year Award winner at the sixth annual USA Rugby National Development Summit Saturday, Jan. 23.
“I am quite surprised and humbled by the honor,” Bullock said. “The award represents the hard work and commitment of the athletes and support staff.”
Bullock was one of five award winners alongside Mike Friday of the USA Eagles Sevens, Kate Daley of Pennsylvania State University, Lee Kelly of Gonzaga High School, and Mike Purcell of University of California, Davis.
“This year’s class of award-winning coaches is one of the most humble, professional groups of individuals the selection committee has had the pleasure to acknowledge,” USA Rugby Coach Education Manager Kelley Sullivan said. ”The rugby community is in good hands with not only these coaches, but every coach nominated, and is growing in leaps and bounds thanks to everyone behind the scenes.”
Glendale’s women’s team won the 2014 WPL title and had a tough task to defend it against seven of the best programs in the country. In 31 matches played in the 2015 calendar year, only a fall defeat to National Championship runners-up Berkeley All Blues kept Bullock’s squad from a perfect record.
–USA Rugby Press Release
He said of the Raptors campaign: “We obviously had a successful past 12 months, only losing by three points to Berkeley in October. Overall the team played a 15-man game of running rugby and attempted to develop the decision making skills of the players and a game that spectators would enjoy watching. The development of significant positive team cohesion was a great step in developing a legacy of great rugby in Glendale.”
The Coach of the Year award adds to a long list of accomplishments for Bullock.
Mark started the Glendale Raptors Rugby Football Club in 2005 and was instrumental in the planning and development of Infinity Park.
Mark will oversee the new Glendale Youth Rugby Academy which is scheduled to launch in April, 2016 to include youth programs (K-12), High School Boys High Performance program which are held locally as well as nationally, various clinics and camps hosted at Infinity Park, and in local elementary and middle schools.
Mark has acted as a key figure in the development of the nationally recognized rugby programs in Glendale, including coordination of the Raptors in the Community volunteer program. As Director of Rugby for the City of Glendale, Mark oversees multiple men’s and women’s teams including the 2015 Men’s Elite Pacific Rugby Premiership as well as the Raptors 2014, 2015 Women’s Premier League National Champions and the 2016 Legends Cup Champions.
Photo Credit: Seth McConnell