Chad Gough hangs up the boots after a successful rugby career
HERRIMAN — Chad Gough is hanging up his rugby cleats, in what could best be defined as a bittersweet, but correct decision.
Gough has been living his dream, playing forward for the Utah Warriors after developing a love for rugby soon after he decided to give the sport a try after several years of playing football.
“I was a lineman, so when they told me I would be able to run the ball, I was like, great, why not?” Gough said. “So then I was able to score my first try shortly after and just fell in love with the game.”
Fortunately for Gough, he grew up in a spot where rugby is a bit more common than it is in most places within the intermountain west.
— Utah Warriors Rugby (@utwarriorsrugby) June 1, 2022
“Luckily in St. George rugby is a thing that people play and there’s good opportunities to develop there,” Gough said. “So it was just about working hard, just like everything else in life, and that’s what’s helped me along, more than anything else.”
Gough spent time playing for Snow Canyon, before advancing to play at the collegiate level where he became acquainted with Warriors Assistant Coach Shaun Davies.
“When I was playing at BYU he was playing at the University of Utah, so we’ve gone up against one another for a long time,” Davies said. “If the MLR came along 10 years earlier he would have been absolutely unreal and had hundreds of caps. But unfortunately the timing didn’t work out that way.”
Major League Rugby (MLR) play came several years after Gough moved on from Utah, playing for various club teams before finally making his way back to Utah, and the Utah Warriors in 2021.
— Utah Warriors Rugby (@utwarriorsrugby) May 31, 2022
“It was big coming back and being able to play for Utah, and I’m so grateful to have had that opportunity,” Gough said.
Since joining the Warriors Gough has become a welcome addition, both on the field and off with his dedicated play and strong character.
“He’s also a special human being,” Davies said. “He has so much on his table with his full-time job and the three kids, and it takes an amazing human being to balance all that with being a great rugby player. He puts his best foot forward with everything.”
And that’s why Gough came to his decision to retire from rugby following the 2022 season. While he has plenty left in the tank, family has to take priority. With three kids aged six, three and just five months, home life can prove a big hectic, which Gough is now relishing being able to put more time toward.
Still, the decision wasn’t an easy one.
“It took me about a year to finally make my decision to move on and leave behind the sport I love,” Gough said. “But family has to come first, and the decision is totally about them, so in that way, I’m completely confident about it and happy with it, although I’m going to miss playing tremendously.”
“I have a pretty great job right now, and now it’s going to free up time to do things with the kids and my wife more, and having more free time for that is really the big thing for me,” Gough continued. “So I’m excited to have more time to just be a dad and a husband.”
Gough currently holds a productive job full-time in Midvale and is excited to have much more time with his kids. While his playing days are over, he fully anticipates coaching up others and working with the development of a sport that is rapidly grabbing more hold in the United States with MLR play among other ventures.
“I can’t just walk away and do nothing, so it’s going to be a lot of fun helping develop others and to promote the sport,” Gough said. “It’s been a great ride, and I’m grateful for every opportunity I’ve had and now want to pass it on to others.”
UTAH WARRIORS VS. DALLAS JACKALS
Date: Saturday, June 5
Time: 6:00 PM MDT
Where: Choctaw Stadium, Arlington, TX.
Broadcast: The Rugby Network, KJZZ, Bally Sports, ESPN700
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