Michael Hodge Joins Jackals as Head Coach
The Dallas Jackals today announce the signing of Australian Michael Hodge as Head Coach. Currently Sydney University FC (SUFC) Head of High Performance, Hodge brings the knowledge, dedication, and passion needed to build the Jackals in the 2022 Inaugural Season and beyond.
“I’m incredibly grateful to have been given this opportunity. The challenge ahead is an exciting one and I’m looking forward to working with the Jackals staff, players, and the entire DFW community,” Hodge said. “We have a unique opportunity to start something new and I hope we can inspire the next generation of rugby players and engage plenty of new rugby fans along the way!”
As a former NSW Waratah, Australian Sevens center/wing, and an ACT Brumbies Academy player, Hodge brings a wide range of professional experience to Dallas. Hodge also attended Sydney University, the oldest rugby union club playing in Australia, competing with the 1st Team winning the 2012 Shute Shield Premiership.
Hodge started his coaching career at Cranbrook School and the Combined Associated Schools representative team, before returning to his previous club SUFC as Director of Rugby and 1st Team Co-Head Coach. During his time at SUFC the club shared many successes leading to Hodge being promoted to Head of High Performance, focusing on the development of the 1st Team and 2nd Team squads.
Jackals GM Elaine Vassie said, “With our aims to play an entertaining style of rugby and develop domestic talent, we set out to find a coach who was people first in his approach, passionate about facilitating an environment to learn, and has a desire to do this through modified game play. Through a very extensive search, Michael stood out as someone who thinks of the whole person first and is excited by the prospect of this truly being a coaching role which promotes a journey where we invest in people, not a week to week process.”
Hodge elevated his coaching career being appointed NSW Rugby 7s Head Coach, Australia’s Super Select 7s Head Coach, and Oceania 7s Championship Head Coach during the 2020/21 campaigns.
“Michael is smart, creative, and his values and goals align beautifully with ours,” said Jackals President Scott Sonju. “He will resonate with our players and this community as he helps build a great culture.”
“The way that Scott and Elaine first spoke about their vision for the Jackals was infectious and I immediately felt aligned.” Hodge continued, “They, along with all the staff, have been working incredibly hard and there’s still plenty more to be done before the 2022 season. I can’t wait to get to Texas and get started.”
Welcome to the Pack Michael!
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 2022. 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 fifth season and represents the highest level of rugby competition in North America. The League evolved from seven teams in 2018, to 13 teams in 2022, featuring 12 from the United States and one from Canada. Matches are televised on CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 2, and ESPN+, among other national and local market platforms. All matches are available on Facebook Live for international fans. MLR prides itself in fostering intense and high-stakes competition, while bringing together a passionate community built on the values of Respect, Inclusivity, and Tradition. For more information about MLR, visit MajorLeague.Rugby.
Supported by the Texas Interscholastic Rugby Association and University of North Texas
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