Vipers Youth Rugby Academy is a subdivision of our San Francisco’s Vipers Academy, established by a group of experienced rugby professionals to expand their capabilities to create multiple skilled and talented teams that compete worldwide. They have traveled internationally and competed with other teams from Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Australia. The academy has broadened to Utah, Portland, Arizona, Colorado, and now
San Diego - where we will develop a much-needed youth program for both boys, girls, and young adults.
Growing up and learning the game in New Zealand, rugby was a huge part of our culture and ingrained in everyday life. From a young age, we learned about handling pressure, what it means to wear a jersey with pride, respect for the other team, and be humble. We had fun with our mates that made the sport enjoyable and we focused on developing skills rather than pushing performance - it allowed us to be the best we could be. All the same valued lessons and characteristics we intend to weave into the fabric of our new youth academy.
Our goal is not only to make better rugby players but better athletes who take pride and care for themselves and the community. As our organization grows, we will continue to support and promote women's rugby and women's coaching throughout our programs and break down the barriers for equal opportunity.
Rugby is one of the top ten sports in the world and one of the fastest-growing sports in America today. It is a game that anyone can play no matter their size, height, or gender, which sets it apart from other sports. Our academy’s coaches will apply their national and world rugby experience to our younger generations and develop their skills, knowledge and confidence to reach their maximum potential. We aim for a high level of professionalism at this academy with discipline and respect for the game.
Meet the coaches
Director of Rugby
Throughout my coaching career, I have had a growth mindset and believe in continuous learning and improvement. I have gained knowledge in organizing and managing a team with a coaching philosophy designed to bring the best out of players. My ultimate goal is to help them thrive both on and off the field.
From a coaching perspective, I encourage players to become students of the game, and to learn and to develop as a player. I want all players to have the confidence and ability to perform well under extreme pressure. To do that, players need to have the ability to self-reflect and learn to problem solve on-field solutions themselves.
Assistant Coach of the USA Women’s 7’s team
Head Coach of the USA Falcons Women's 7's team
Head Coach of the San Diego Surfers WPL - 2 National Championships
Head Coach of the San Diego Old Aztecs Men’s - 6 Southern California Championships
Head Coach of the Life West Women’s program - 2 National Championships
Kate is an accomplished 7s and 15s player, Coach Zackary made her debut with the senior Women's Eagles Sevens at the 2015 Atlanta Sevens, earning her first cap with the Women's National Team (15s) in 2016. In November 2018, Zackary returned to 15s as Captain of the Women's Eagles as they prepare for the 2022 World Cup.
Over the last four years, Coach Zackary has coached at Girls Rugby, Inc., La Costa Canyon High School, Coastal Dragons Rugby Club, Atlantis Rugby, and USA Girls High School All-Americans.
Silver at the 2015 Pan-American Games
Gold at 2015 NACRA 7s, Qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games
4th place, Women's Rugby World Cup 2017
4th place, Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018
Captain, USA Women’s XVs
2x National Champions, San Diego Surfers, Women’s Premier League
Current member of the first women’s team at Exeter Chiefs, England
Assistant Coach for Japan's Women's Rugby
Richie is an accomplished 7s and 15s rugby coach with over fifteen years of experience coaching male and female athletes at many different levels including primary, intermediate, high school, university, club, all-star, and national teams. He is passionate about working with coaches, staff and athletes to create a positive team culture and an environment for people to develop social and mental skills - like respect and resilience that will help people on and off the field and their future endeavors.
Head Coach, Auckland Rugby, June 2019-Current
Head Coach, Seattle Seawolves Pro Rugby - won 2019 Major League Rugby Championship
Head Coach, USA Rugby Women's 7s - Olympic Games and World Cup 2016-2018
Director of Coaching and Courses, Atavus Rugby & Football
Every day, meet yourself where you are. Our lessons and tips might not be where you are, but adapt them to your own experience. What challenges you today? Let's face those challenges together as a team.