[PITTSBURGH, PA] – Last weekend, the Midwest Rugby Union held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in conjunction with the Midwest Rugby Referee Society in Pittsburgh, PA. The weekend was hosted by the Allegheny Rugby Union and Referee Society and featured a Friday-night networking happy hour followed by referee education courses, a Competition Committee Meeting, and the Midwest General Meeting on Saturday.
In addition to reviewing the past calendar year for the Union, updates were provided to Local Area Union (LAU) leadership regarding USA Rugby and the Senior Club Council. The Union announced updates to public discipline reporting, some proposed changes to the Midwest 7s Series, updates on Club Rugby Super-Regionals and Nationals, a preview for the Midwest Thunderbirds and detailed discussions on the Union’s financials. Union Members are strongly encouraged to attend their LAU AGMs in the coming weeks for detailed updates or review the Meeting Minutes and Financials on the Midwest website.
The only Union Officer position up for vote at this meeting was that of the President. After serving for the last four years, current President Al Lucas stated he was not seeking re-election. Al had been serving the Midwest for a number of years as the Division 1 Men’s Competition Coordinator and a USA Rugby Congress Representative before becoming the President in 2019. In addition to developing the National-standard Return to Play policy post-Covid, Al also represented the Midwest in the development of the Senior Club Council after USA Rugby filed bankruptcy and reorganized. Al served on the Board of Directors of USA Rugby sitting as the representative of Club Rugby before becoming the Chairman of the Senior Club Council last year. Al will remain as the chair for another year.
In his place, the Member LAUs voted unanimously to elect Dan Houlihan as the next President of the Midwest Rugby Union. Dan, who works professionally as a high school history teacher, has been serving as the President of the Allegheny Rugby Union since 2019 and the Secretary of the Midwest since 2020.
Dan began playing rugby in college while attending Slippery Rock University in 2004. During his time there, he captained the team’s second side for two years before graduating with his bachelor’s degree and playing club rugby for the Westmoreland/ Pittsburgh Highlanders in 2008. Dan played scrumhalf and flyhalf for the Highlanders for seven years, captaining them from two before retiring from playing actively in 2015. At that time, Dan became a full-time referee, where he still serves the game currently.
In addition to officiating and administrating rugby, Dan also served as the assistant coach for the Kiski Valley U19 Boys Club from 2016 – 2020, winning two state championships while there. Dan lives in Plum, PA with his wife Erica who’s also a rugby player and coach, along with their two children.
With the election of Dan to President, one of his first official actions will be to appoint a Union Secretary to serve the duration of his term. This appointment will be announced in the next few weeks.