Glendale Coaches Corner

Glendale Merlins Rugby

Glendale’s Coaching Clinic – June 15-16

by | May 16, 2018 | Coaches Corner

Save the Date – Glendale’s Coaching Clinic is Scheduled for June 15-16

As told by Director of Rugby Mark Bullock

 Glendale's Coaches Clinic

Coaches Blog, Glendale Rugby Date 5.1.18, the location – Glendale Rugby Offices

The coaching staff and I are always looking at ways to reach out to the local rugby community, make some solid connections with the coaches, players and administrators, but also to give back to the game. As a City-supported rugby club, we are very aware at how lucky we are to have the resources we do to grow this game in our tiny corner of Denver and we are always looking at how we can share this with other clubs. We not only work tirelessly to grow the top tier of rugby within Denver, but we also spend a lot of time and resources growing the youth game. We partner with Rugby Colorado and meet almost weekly with its Director to discuss ways to help their mission, we rent out our facilities to local rugby clubs and various other sports organizations, we host major matches, tournaments and trainings for USA Rugby, we also work on new ways to share best practices. Furthermore, with the introduction of the Major League Rugby, we are allowed even more latitude to focus on the development pathway, not only for players, but for coaches and referees.

The MLR states publicly that its mission is to “reinvigorate the American rugby development pathway. By creating outreach programs to bring new players to the game and high-performance pathways to keep the best athletes in the sport, MLR will create the competitive environment to push the American game to the next level. Growing the game of rugby is at the core of the MLR model.”

Now, of course, for over a decade, this has also been at the center of Glendale Rugby’s undertaking. Coined ‘Rugby Town USA’ we take pride in making rugby inclusive and really sharing what we’ve built with any and all who are interested.

Therefore, today, we started hashing out the details of our ‘Raptors Coaching Clinic.’ This clinic will allow us to share with all of the area clubs our team ethos, structure and playing patterns and then at the very end of the clinic, invite the coaches to watch how it all comes together in a MLR match vs. Seattle.

We are very excited about developing this clinic. It won’t be the first time we’ve done something like this, but it will be the first time we are able to do it with almost a full season of professional rugby under our belts. Now, we just need to finalize the details and get the City’s approval to move forward and promote.

Ted Brown instructs Brian Wanless

Photo by Seth McConnell

Coaches Blog, Glendale Rugby Date 5.11.18, location – City of Glendale Conference Room

Every Friday, we meet with City management and various department directors in what we call a ‘Rugby Meeting’. Today, we pitched our finalized ‘Coaching Clinic Itinerary.” Staff members and Deputy City Manager, Linda Cassaday, were very eager to start promoting this to local coaches and clubs. We also decided to invite coaches from our neighboring States, as well. We don’t have a limit on attendees, as of yet, so as long as people are willing to pay the nominal registration fee, which of course includes Friday night dinner, Saturday lunch AND a ticket to the MLR game on Saturday night, anyone is welcome! We went back and forth on how much to charge for this and we finally determined that we really just want to cover costs. We don’t want cost to be an inhibitor, so as to draw as many interested coaches as we can. We also determined that registration could open next Friday, May 18, as we still have to build out out the registration page, but as long as we can get the information out to coaches who may be interested, as soon as possible, they can start saving the dates and working on their travel arrangements ahead of time. Getting to Glendale should be fairly easy for most, however, it will be staying the night that might be just a bit more difficult. With that in mind, we have also reached out to our partner hotel to see if we can secure a group of rooms at our discounted rate. Since many of the local hotels are nearing capacity for this particular weekend in June, the room rate we received is ONLY good until May 25! Visit Hampton Inn and Suites Denver / Cherry Creek to make your hotel arrangements for this event as soon as possible, as rooms are booking up fast!

Below, find the finalized itinerary of events for this clinic. Feel free to pass along to anyone who you might think will be interested. We are also working with USA Rugby to see how many credits this may qualify as for professional development. In addition, as a coach, whether paid or volunteer, these expenses are likely tax deductible. So, as long as you have the time set aside, there’s really no reason not to take in some extra training for your club.

As a long-time coach and mentor, I have found it is vital to allow yourself additional training opportunities. If you don’t look to expand your knowledge base on a topic, you have the potential to get stuck in a rut. The City of Glendale is always pushing us to train among the best and we take pride in the time we spend learning how to better our program from outside sources. For instance, this past winter, three of us went to the UK to learn from various rugby premiership clubs. Of course, not everyone can afford to do that with limited budgets and time, and we have taken both factors into consideration when planning this event. We hope to see a lot of new faces at our clinic and if anyone has any questions, please feel free to call or email me, Mark Bullock, directly at 303.639.4710 or

Raptors Coaching Clinic Itinerary

June 15-16, 2018


6:00pm  Meet and Greet with Raptors and Dinner at Infinity Park’s Try Club
Presentation: Legacy – 15 lessons in Leadership by Mark Bullock, Director of Rugby


9:00am  Attack pattern the 1-3-1  Dave Williams, Raptors Head Coach

10:00am  Break

10:10am  Set Play – Lineout  Kieran Browner, Raptors Forwards Coach

10:55am  Break

11:00am  Ball Skills/Decision-Making  Duncan James, Raptors Skills Coach

Noon  Set Play – Scrum  Luke Gross, Glendale WPL/D1 Head Coach

12:30pm  Catered Lunch

1:00pm  The Tackle  Rex Norris, Glendale Technical Advisor

2:00pm  Tackle/Contest  Luke Gross, Glendale WPL/D1 Head Coach

3:00pm  Defensive Systems  Mark Bullock, Glendale Director of Rugby

3:30pm  Mental Skills  Dr. Jim Winges, Glendale Mental Skills Coach

4:00pm  Injury Prevention  Dr. Amy Valenta Glendale Head Trainer

4:30pm  Prep for MLR match

7:00pm  Glendale Raptors vs. Seattle Seawolves

Learn more and register »