CHICAGO (July 15, 2021) – The Midwest Rugby Football Union (MWRFU) announced today its Thunderbird Program Women’s Select Side executive coaching staff. These individuals will be focused on presenting MWRFU membership with higher performance playing and coaching development opportunities.
“We are extremely excited to present our women’s Thunderbird coaching staff,” said Thunderbird Program Manager and Vice President of Competitions Gary Lobaugh. “They are all wonderful people that also happen to be exceptional rugby coaches and players. We have assembled a staff of former Thunderbirds and Olympians that will serve as tremendous resources for our members.”
Thunderbirds Head Coach: Todd Fabec
- Todd played collegiate rugby at West Virginia University (WVU) before moving to the southwest to play Division 1 rugby for SantaFe Los Santos. While there, Todd also competed for the Rio Grande Selects and the Anasazi Old Boys.
- A Level 300 coach, Todd transitioned to coaching in 2006 for the Chapel Hill Highlander U19 boys to USAR regionals and nationals. He also coached the U17 and U19 North Carolina All-Stars, and both the men and women’s programs at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. While there, he coached the women’s side to a D1 elite-8 appearance.
- Todd returned to Pittsburgh and coached Robert Morris University and the Moon Area Boys U19 program before becoming the Head Coach of the Pittsburgh Forge Women in 2020.
Assistant Head Coach: Jillion Potter
- Jillion played collegiate rugby at the University of New Mexico where she was named a Collegiate All-American.
- She competed for the Women’s National Team from 2007 – 2014 in both Rugby 7’s and XV’s. Highlights included the 2014 7’s Rugby World Cup, the 2014 Rugby World Cup (XV’s), and the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janerio, Brazil.
Support Coach: Richelle Stephens
- Richelle began playing rugby at the historic Fallbrook Girls Rugby Club earning consecutive National Championships from 2012 – 2015.
- In 2016, Richelle competed for the Women’s National 7’s Team at the Olympics in Rio De Janerio, Brazil.
- Richelle currently plays collegiate rugby for Lindenwood University assisting that program in earning National Championships in XV’s in 2017 and 2021 and Rugby 7’s in 2017, 2019, and 2021. This past season, Richelle won The MA Sorensen Award for Collegiate Rugby Player of the Year.
Support Coach: Libby Berg
- Libby played collegiate rugby at St. Benedict’s College where she earned selections to both the Minnesota and USA Rugby U23 programs.
- She received further selections to the Midwest Thunderbirds and ultimately the Women’s National Team in 2014.
- Currently plays for the Minnesota Valkyries while serving as the Metropolis Men’s Forwards Coach and the Head Coordinator for Minnesota Youth Rugby.
- Additional coaching credentials included Mayhem RFC and the Minnesota High School Girls Selects.
The women’s coaching staff will be hosting two (2) assemblies this summer in preparation for elite-level competition this fall. The first assembly will be on July 31, 2021 at the Fortress Obetz outside of Columbus, Ohio. The second assembly will be over the weekend of August 14th and 15th in Chicago, Illinois. Players interested in the Thunderbird Program are strongly encouraged to attend both assemblies, but should attend at least one (1) event. Thunderbird sides will be chosen and scheduled for competition in October – December of 2021.
For more information regarding Midwest Thunderbird Selects, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.