Elaine Vassie Named First Female Assistant GM In MLR History
The Dallas Jackals are proud to announce Elaine Vassie as Assistant General Manager and Assistant Coach. With vast international and local rugby experience, Vassie will be the first female to hold a management position in the history of the MLR.
Vassie commenced her coaching career at Manchester Village Spartans in 2007. She then continued to the English Rugby Union (RFU) in a community and development role in Lancashire, England. More notably, in 2009, Vassie was named the Head Coach of English National League Club, Manchester FC, a role considered “arguably the hardest job in rugby” by the press. She was the first female to ever hold a Head Coach or Director of Rugby position at a National League level. Vassie was supported by fellow RFU colleagues and Coach Development Manager, Ian Thompson.
Despite various obstacles the organization was facing, Vassie’s focus on player development and her strong mindset to succeed saw an increase in the number of incoming players who progressed to higher leagues, academy and international clubs.
After being named Lancashire’s Senior Club of the Year in 2010, Vassie said, “the experiences in these initial years of coaching shaped my mindset in both the importance of the values of the game and my coaching philosophies.”
Looking to expand her coaching experiences, Vassie travelled to Italy to work on a consultancy basis with Italian club side DAK Matova. She then moved to the US and was appointed Director of Rugby and Head Coach of the Dallas Griffins, shortly after they were promoted to Texas Division 2. She had the opportunity to work with coaches and players from across Texas when she was selected as a member of the Texas Select Side coaching staff for the 2014-2015 season.
While with the Griffins, Vassie worked with Jackals GM Phil Camm. Camm said, “I feel very fortunate to get the opportunity to work with Elaine again. She played such a key role in the Griffins’ development and I’m very grateful to her for what she has done for Texas rugby.”
Vassie returned to the UK in 2015 and was a part of the management team for Scotland Women in their Six Nations campaign. Following this, she was named Assistant Coach of the Scotland Women’s 7’s in the European Women’s Trophy series, in which they won bronze medals.
Vassie went on to complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Elite Performance, however the draw of Texas brought Vassie, her husband Danny and their two dogs back to the US. She took on the Director of Rugby and Men’s Head Coach role at the Dallas Harlequins Rugby Football Club. Last year they extended their family with the arrival of their son, our youngest supporter, Arden!
We are happy to welcome Elaine Vassie and her family to the pack!
About Dallas Jackals —
The Dallas Jackals are a professional rugby team of Major League Rugby (MLR), the highest level of rugby competition in North America. The Jackals were named as an expansion team in 2020 and will play their inaugural season in 2021. The team’s central mission is to develop domestic talent to a world-class level of play and professionalism while strengthening the high performance pathway in DFW by supporting the local clubs. Through proactive Community Outreach, the Jackals will exemplify and spread the passion of rugby by inspiring tradition, respect, family, and character on and off the pitch.
About MLR —
Major League Rugby is a professional sports league entering its fourth season and represents the highest level of competition in North America. The League evolved from seven teams in 2018, to 13 teams in 2021, featuring 12 from the United States and one from Canada. The competition follows an 18-week regular schedule for a chance to advance to the playoffs. Matches are televised on CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 2, ESPN+, Facebook Live (for international viewers) and on different platforms in each local market. MLR prides itself on its incredible athletes, the passionate community behind them, and its strong values of Respect, Inclusivity, and Tradition.
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