Texas’s only Division 1 Women’s Rugby Club, the Austin Valkyries, are excited to announce the appointment of Butch Neuenschwander as the team’s new Head Coach. Neuenschwander has been involved with rugby in Texas for a number of years at the University of Texas and helped start and coach a women’s team in Corpus Christi. Prior to that, he coached both men and women at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Neuenschwander is joined by two long-time Valkyries, who will be involved as his assistant coaches. Meredith “Dude” Ottens will serve as the forwards coach and Wendy Young will be the backs coach. Ottens and Young have both decided to hang up their playing boots and are giving back to the game and their team as coaches.
Ottens focus moves to coaching after many years with the Minnesota Valkyries, USA Eagles and the Austin Valkyries. Highlights of her rugby career include a silver medal in the 1998 World Cup and being named Tight-head Prop of the Decade by Rugby Magazine. Known across the nation as a powerful scrummer and one of the sport’s toughest players, her impact on the women’s game overall has been immense. She is on the short list of players in the USA that have played in three World Cups.
Young leaves the pitch as a player but has taken on two more hats as referee and coach. She was recently promoted to a L1 Referee in Texas and also coaches the University of Texas Women’s 7s Team. Young’s rugby career started at the Univ of Oklahoma and moved onto the Austin Valkyries a few years later. Young also spent two years in the USA Women’s National Pool with appearances at the Nations Cup Tournament.
“We’re very excited about the new coaching staff this year. Their combined rugby knowledge will provide our team with a solid foundation going forward,” Valkyries President Francine Bray said.
The Austin Valkyries welcome players of all levels of experience. More information about the 2012 Fall Season can be found at austinvalkyries.com.