Kevin O’Brien, USA Women’s Coach, has an undefeated international record of 7-0, the best points scored versus points against margin (155-22) in U.S. Eagles history, and the only coach to bring home a Rugby World Cup trophy to the United States.
O’Brien, a native of Wales, attended and played rugby for Saint Mary’s College in London, England from 1966 to 1970. When women’s rugby began to take hold in the United States in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Beantown Women’s Rugby contacted Kevin and sent him a one-way ticket to the United States to become their new head coach. The rest is history.
Kevin’s coaching achievements include stints at the high school, collegiate, club, and international levels. To name a few, he served as head coach for the USA Women’s National Team, Middlebury College Men’s Rugby Team, Harvard University Men’s Rugby Team, Burlington Men’s Rugby Club, Beantown Women’s Rugby Club, Eastern Women’s Rugby Union All-Stars, and co-coach of the South Burlington High School Boy’s Rugby Team.
The O’Brien effect would follow him everywhere he would go, as winning was a constant. At the international level he led the USA Women’s National Team to a 1991 Women’s Rugby World Cup Championship. He also took Middlebury College Men’s team to the Division II Collegiate finals in 2008 before winning the National title in 2009.
At the club level, Kevin coached the Burlington Men’s Club to an appearance in the Division II Men’s National Final Eight in 1997 and a spot in the Division II Men’s National Final Four in 1995 and 1996. Under his tenure at Beantown Women’s Rugby Club, he coached the program to three Women’s National Club Championship titles in 1982, 1983, and 1991.
With over 45 years of coaching experience, O’Brien’s success and impact is unparalleled.
“Kevin is a great coach because he respects every woman rugby player. Ability level, sexual preference, intellect, never matters to him. Everyone is welcome to the pitch and learns from him. He has a vast understanding of rugby and knows how to translate it to the audience with flair and humor. He has an ability to teach when students don’t realize they are being taught. He is self-effacing and knows when to laugh at himself. Humor is an essential part of rugby and Kevin is a master at it. Above all, his integrity has continued to shine through the years- from helping build a club with morals and discipline, to mentoring players to play with intensity but respect for the game and opponents,” said friend and former Beantown Women’s Rugby player, Annie Flavin.
O’Brien remains active in the rugby community, serving as a World Rugby Educator and USA Rugby Coach Educator.