ANNAPOLIS, Md.— Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk confirmed today that Gavin Hickie has been named the Director of Club Rugby and the Head Men’s Rugby Coach. Hickie comes to Navy from Dartmouth, where he was the head coach for the past five years.
“Gavin is universally known as one of the top coaches in the sport,” said Gladchuk. “We are very fortunate to have him join the Naval Academy family and we expect even greater success in the years to come. We will always be grateful for the incredible job Mike Flanagan did for decades as the head of the rugby program.”
Hickie led Dartmouth to the Ivy League Championship in XVs and 7s in all five seasons at the helm. The Big Green made the Varsity Cup Quarterfinals (XVs) in 2013, 2014 and 2016 and won the CRC (7s) in 2012 and advanced to the Quarterfinals in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Dartmouth won the USA Rugby 7s in 2012 and finished third in 2013.
Hickie has also served as the Collegiate All-Americans Head Coach for USA Rugby the last two years where he is responsible for all areas of the national team program, including the selection of assistant coaches and players. He has been involved with USA Rugby as an assistant or head coach since 2012.
A native of Dublin, Ireland, Hickie is a 2003 graduate of University College Dublin where he earned his Bachelor of Arts. He played professional rugby for Linster and helped the club win the inaugural Celtic League in 2001. Hickie also played for the London Irish RFC, the Worcester Warriors and the Leicester Tigers. In 2007, he helped Leicester win the Guinness Premiership.
Hickie got his start in coaching in 2007 as the forwards coach for Leicester Academy, an assistant coach for the Belmont Shore Rugby Football Club in Southern California and the head coach at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, Calif. before moving on to Dartmouth.
Let me start by taking this opportunity to thank all the student-athletes at Dartmouth College, whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past five years. Like you, I have grown and developed during my time at Dartmouth and for that I am very grateful to you all.
Thank you to the all the families, friends, alums and supporters of the DRFC, especially Ben Schuler and James Willocks. You made our time in Hanover very special.
I would like to say a sincere thank you to Dartmouth Technical Advisor and friend, Alex Magleby. You took me on as a young coach and through your guidance and mentoring helped develop me into the coach I am today. Thanks Mags.
It is a deep honor to be appointed as the first Director of Rugby at the United States Naval Academy. I have been very fortunate to experience a number of monumental high moments throughout my rugby career, leading our Midshipmen however, is the pinnacle.
Through the great sport of rugby, our challenge is to develop the teamwork, decision-making and leadership skills of our Midshipmen. I view this as a unique challenge and am honored to be tasked with it. I cannot wait to get stuck in!
I would like to thank Navy Athletic Director, Chet Gladchuk and Senior Associate Athletic Director, Robb Dunn for this opportunity. I am excited to work with you as we continue to grow Navy Rugby into a national powerhouse.
To all our alums, families, friends and supporters, thank you very much for all you have done to drive Navy Rugby forward. Your passion for the Naval Academy and rugby is very evident. Without you, none of this would be possible. I am humbled by your welcome and support.
Finally, a very special thank you to Mike Flanagan, who for 27 years has lead the Midshipmen. It means a lot to me to have Mike’s support as I step into his big shoes. Thank you very much for everything you have done Coach Flanagan.
Jess and I are extremely excited to get to Annapolis and plant our roots in our new community. We are looking forward to meeting you all.