Warriors relieve Shawn Pittman of Head Coaching duties
HERRIMAN, Utah — The Utah Warriors have relieved Shawn Pittman of his Head Coach duties, effective immediately, the team announced Monday.
The move comes after the Warriors’ 2-6 start to the 2022 Major League Rugby (MLR) Season. The decision to make a change at the head coach position was made in order to make operational adjustments that will promote the greatest success of Warriors’ players individually, and as a group, for the rest of the 2022 season while also setting up the organization and the team for success in 2023 and beyond.
“The Utah Warriors are an organization striving to be the best in the MLR by adhering to our Core Values and by helping our players achieve their personal and collective goals, on and off the field,” said Co-Founder and CEO, Kimball Kjar. “Unfortunately, changes sometimes need to be made to live up to that ideal and in this case, we had to make adjustments that saw us release someone we sincerely respect and appreciate. In the end, we thank Shawn for all that he, his wife Sarah and their lovely family have done for the Warriors over the past three seasons and we wish them well with their endeavors in the future.”
As a result of this move, Warriors’ General Manager Brandon Sparks will take on an interim rugby-operations role overseeing the Warriors’ coaching staff for the remainder of the season, while also overseeing the planning and search for a head coach for 2023 and future seasons. Other additional coaching and players resources may be announced in the coming days.
“We are committed to being standard-setters in the MLR,” said Sparks. “Unfortunately, the outcomes on the field aren’t reflective of the talent we believe is currently on this roster. As we progress through the 2022 season and into 2023 we are committed to establishing a strong player base and finding the right people to lead our on-field efforts. In the end, we are thankful for the work Shawn has put into progressing the Utah Warriors and we wish him all the best.”
Assistant Coaches Shaun Davies and Robbie Abel will remain in their current positions, overseeing the Utah Warriors’ backs and forwards units, respectively. No other changes to the Warriors’ coaching and support staff have been or are expected to be made.
Pittman’s tenure with the Warriors began in late 2019 following his success with the US National Team at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, where he served as an assistant coach. Pittman was hired as an assistant coach to then Warriors’ head coach Chris Latham. After the departure of Latham in early 2021 for personal reasons, Pittman was tapped as the interim head coach, where he led the Warriors to a 10-6 regular season, an MLR Western Conference Final appearance and was voted as the MLR’s coach of the year before being promoted to the Warriors’ Head Coach.
During his tenure with the Warriors as interim head coach and head coach Pittman led the team to a combined 12-13 MLR record.
ABOUT THE UTAH WARRIORS
The Utah Warriors are a founding member of Major League Rugby and one of 13 professional rugby teams competing in the MLR. The organization is celebrating it’s Five Year Anniversary in 2022, marking five years since the team began play in 2018. The team is built upon four core values of Community, Family, Tradition and Respect. To learn about the Warriors 2022 schedule, or to purchase tickets, visit us online at www.warriorsrugby.com.
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