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2023 Rugby Knowledge Pathways Instructors​

The 2023 team of instructors for the specialized courses is a diverse and highly knowledgeable group, bringing a wealth of expertise and experience to the table. Together, this exceptional team of instructors covers a wide range of rugby topics, providing invaluable guidance to empower players, coaches, administrators, and fans in their rugby journeys.

Mary Swanstrom

Mary Swanstrom

Athletic Trainer, MS, ATC, CAFS & USAR Educator

Mary has been involved in rugby since 1991 when she began playing at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. She has played all over the United States, most notably with Chicago North Shore and San Diego Surfers. While playing, she began coaching in the late 90s, helping out with various college programs. After a career ending injury while in the Navy, she took on her first head coaching role with the San Diego Armada men’s rugby team. Over the last 20 years she has coached at the high school boys, college women, college men, adult club women, adult club men, and various all-star programs. Mary is also a Licensed Athletic Trainer working with at the UC Davis Gymnastics and Tennis teams. She has a bachelor’s of science in kinesiology and exercise science from California State University, Sacramento. She went on to earn her Master of Science in Athletic Training from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN. Also a World Rugby Educator and Trainer, she serves as the USA Rugby Training and Education Southern Region Administrator.

David Dodge

TRU Board Member and USA Rugby SCC Member

David has an extensive background in rugby, holding various roles within the sport. He has been a long-time officer of the Dallas Rugby Football Club, serving as President, Treasurer, and Player. As a representative on the Texas Rugby Union (TRU) Board since 2017, he has played a crucial role in maintaining the strength and continuity of the Union. David has also been actively involved in USA Rugby, serving as Treasurer and on the Audit & Risk Committee, Competition Management Workgroup, Accident Insurance Workgroup, and Eligibility Committee. His experience includes responsibilities in finance, competition management, eligibility regulations, and national competitions. With his dedication and expertise, David Dodge has proven himself to be a committed and knowledgeable figure within the rugby community.

Elaine Vassie

Elaine Vassie

Sports Professional

Previous MLR GM & Assistant Coach and Scotland Women’s 7s coach, Elaine has been involved with the TRU since 2013, including as a member of the coaching staff for both Men’s XVs and Ladies 7’s & XV’s All Star sides.
Prior to her time in the USA Elaine has coached at English National League level, and through the performance pathways for age grade men’s and senior women within England & Scotland where she has also worked as a coach educator. Elaine’s passion lies in facilitating environments and delivery means to support player development, and where players are first and foremost people not resources.

Gordon Hanlon

Performance Analyst

Gordon Hanlon is a highly regarded rugby strategist, analyst, and lineout specialist with a passion for leveraging strategic analysis to gain a competitive advantage in the sport. With an extensive background in coaching and analyzing lineouts at various levels, Gordon’s expertise lies in building dynamic and effective lineouts that provide teams with a valuable attacking weapon and secure possession. His deep understanding of lineout tactics, variations, and execution techniques has made him a sought-after expert in the field. Through his coaching career, which includes working with the Crusaders and providing analysis for the Gilgronis in the MLR, Gordon has consistently demonstrated his commitment to giving back to the game and elevating the quality of lineout play.

Andrew Heller

Marketing Consultant

Andrew Heller brings valuable experience as a marketing consultant, currently working with LARES. With a strong skill set in areas such as marketing strategy, social media, and event marketing, Andrew excels in conducting research and analysis to identify target audiences and develop comprehensive marketing plans. His expertise extends to creating engaging content, including social media posts and email campaigns, as well as supporting event planning and execution. Andrew’s contributions to the Austin Huns Rugby club as Secretary and Communications personnel align with his marketing background, making him a valuable asset in effectively promoting the club and its initiatives.

Mark Torres

CEO Nutmeg Sports Media

Mark Torres is a dedicated sports videographer and a CEO of Nutmeg Sports Media, a company that specializes in providing high-quality video coverage for various sports in the Dallas area and across the United States. With a deep passion for sports and videography, Mark has been capturing dynamic footage since the establishment of Nutmeg Sports Media in 2014. His expertise extends to a wide range of sports, including soccer, lacrosse, rugby, football, volleyball, and basketball. With a commitment to excellence and a fast turnaround time, Mark and the Nutmeg Sports Media team are dedicated to helping athletes and teams achieve their goals and dreams by capturing their performances on film.

Mattison Grey

Mattison Grey


Mattison Grey M.Ed. CPPC is a Leadership and Performance Specialist and Certified Professional Business, Leadership, and Executive Coach. Since 1997, Mattison has been coaching teams and individuals and consulting in organizations in the areas of leadership, communication, teamwork, and high performance. From 2015-2021, Mattison served as the Mental Skills Coach at American Rugby Pro Training Center. At ARPTC Mattison designed and built the Mental Skills Program from the ground up, coaching the athletes on Individual Mental Skills and Team Cohesion. She also worked with the coaching staff on communication, feedback, and high performance. With a great depth of experience, she brings 25 + years of professional instruction to her clients and teams, boosted by her own rugby and Touch Rugby career and other experiences as a competitive athlete. Mattison is a former NCAA Division I athlete who attended the University of Iowa on a swimming scholarship. Immediately upon graduating from Iowa in 1990, Mattison began her rugby career in Houston, Texas. She quickly rose through the ranks in the West and Midwest, landing one step away from the USA National Team before retiring to raise a family. In 2006, Mattison transitioned to the sport of Touch Rugby, where she competed in numerous National Championships and was selected to the 2008 USA Touch World Cup Squad. Mattison is obsessed with providing young women with the mental skills, structures, and tools they need to navigate the challenges that come with participation in high-performance sports and life.

Cole Jones

MLR Assistant Referee

Cole Jones, is an experienced Major League Rugby Assistant Referee and member of the Texas Rugby Referee Association. Cole has a strong background in customer service and operations, with expertise in areas such as retail, sales, and time management. He holds a degree from The University of Texas at San Antonio and have worked in various roles, including customer experience associate at Ethos Life and inside sales associate at Grainger. With his experience and passion for rugby, Cole brings valuable insights to the field as an assistant referee.

Drew Low

MLR Assistant Referee

Drew Low serves as a Major League Rugby Assistant Referee and Texas Rugby Referee Association referee. Alongside his passion for rugby, Drew has gained extensive experience as a Product Owner at Texas Mutual Insurance Company. With a background in computer information science from St. Edward’s University, Drew brings a unique blend of technical expertise and leadership skills to his pursuits. He has actively contributed to the St. Edward’s Rugby Football Club, holding various roles such as Public Relations Officer, Vice-President, President, and Captain. Drew’s commitment to personal and professional growth is evident through his certifications as an Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (ACSPO) and Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®) from Scrum Alliance. With his diverse experiences, leadership abilities, and passion for rugby, Drew brings a valuable perspective to the field as an instructor.