Staff

Assistant GM & Attack 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!