Staff

Former British & Irish Lion Darren Morris Joins Dallas Rugby Football Club as Director of Rugby

The Dallas Rugby Football Club (a/k/a the “Reds”) is pleased to announce Darren Morris will join the Club as its Director of Rugby and Head Coach for the 2017-18 XVs season.

Morris was capped 18 times at prop by Wales from 1998-2004, and was on the Lions sides that toured Australia in 2001, and Argentina and South Africa in 2004. He also played in the 2001 Six Nations competition. During his 13-year professional career, Morris played in the English Premiership for the Leicester Tigers, Worcester Warriors, and Northampton Saints, in the Pro12 (now Pro14) for the Cardiff Blues, and in the Welsh Premier Division for Neath and Swansea (which have now combined as the Ospreys to compete in the Guinness Pro14). He also played on the invitational Barbarians side on several occasions.
During his coaching career, Morris has served as scrum coach for the Russian national team that went to the 2011 World Cup, and as forwards coach of that team in 2012 to 2013. In 2013, he took a role as Director of Rugby for the Russian team Kuban, taking them to their highest ever position at in the top division of rugby in Russia. Later in 2013, Morris signed as Doncaster Knights coach, and helped them get promoted back to the Championship that season. Morris moved to Texas in 2015, and took a position as Director of Rugby for the USA Rugby Division 1 Griffins RFC in Allen, Texas.

Founded in 1968, the Dallas Rugby Football Club has been the largest men’s rugby club in the United States for the last two seasons. The Club fields men’s sides in USA Rugby’s Divisions 1, 2, and 3, and has added a women’s side which will compete in Division 2. The Club also supports the Dallas Youth Rugby Club, an organization that introduces rugby to youth in the economically challenged areas of South Dallas.
In his new role with the Reds, Morris will serve as the Club’s Director of Rugby and Head Coach, and will take personal responsibility for coaching the Division 1 forwards. He is joined on the Reds’ coaching staff by Filip Keuppens (D2 Coach), Ernest Carrasco (D3 Coach), Tige Bailey (Women’s Coach), Dean Gericke (D1 Backs Coach), Joseph Bardwell (D2 Backs Coach), Chris Herzog (D2 Forwards Coach), David Hettena (Strength & Conditioning Coach / Team Manager), and Stuart Reeves (Team Manager).

“We are very happy to have Darren heading up our coaching staff,” said Dallas President, David Dodge. “We have had great camaraderie and a very talented group of players and coaches over the last few seasons, but have not been able to advance past the national semi-finals in any division. We believe the addition of Darren to the Club is the missing ingredient that will win us a national championship.”

Morris is looking forward to the challenge. “I’m looking forward to taking the Director of Rugby and Head Coach role with the Dallas Reds,” said Morris. “There are many challenges ahead, but with challenge comes opportunity. It’s no mean feat taking the reins on the biggest club in the USA. The Reds’ growth is a testament to their hunger for the game of rugby and desire to grow the game in North Texas.” Morris continued: “The Club has been very successful in recent years; I’d like to build on the foundation of success laid down by the previous coaches. With the current players, administration and coaching staff, I’m very excited by the possibilities that lay ahead of us in the 2017/18 season.”

Dallas’ Division 1 team will begin play with a friendly fixture against the new Major League Rugby team, the Houston Strikers, in November and December. Starting in January 2018, the Club will play league matches against the Dallas Harlequins, the Austin Huns, the Austin Blacks, the Little Rock Stormers, and the Glendale Merlins (formerly, the Raptors, from outside of Denver, Colorado). The result of these matches will determine which team will advance to the national playoff rounds beginning in late May 2018.

 

Administration

President – Dave Dodge
Vice President – Joe Kelly
Secretary – Chris Chefchis
Treasurer – Phil Iuliucci
Assistant Treasurer – Jeff Robertson
Match Secretary – Jeff Kolberg
Social Secretary – Frank O’Neal
Guest Player Liaison – Gus Holt
Men’s Recruitment Director – Mike Vogel
Sponsorship Chairman – Dan Drabinski
Club Manager – Chris Chefchis
Collegiate Recruitment Director – Phil Bolton
Alumni Liaison – Matt Upton

Division 1 Coaches

Darren Morris
Dean Gericke

Division 2 Coaches

Filip Keuppens
Joe Bardwell
Chris Herzog

Division 3 Coaches

Ernie Carrasco
Andrew Campisi

Women’s Coaches

Tige Bailey
Joe Kelly
Colin Hogarth

Speed and Conditioning Coaches

David “Teapot” Hettena – Director of Strength & Conditioning
Vincent Chase – Speed Coach>
Sal DeMartino – Liaison & Programming
Eric Gibbs – Programming
Lori Mayfield – Recovery Programming
Tyler “Jersey” Miller – On-field Preparation

Support Staff

AccountantDon Barker
Attorney(Civil)Dave Dodge
Attorney(Criminal)John Gioffredi
ChiropractorDr. Judy Kelly, D.C.
CryotherapyAbsolute Zero Cyro
Digital Media – Joe Kelly