Why Greg Cooper chose Utah
HERRIMAN — Given his tremendous coaching resume, Greg Cooper could have coached at a lot of different places.
But given everything the state of Utah and the Utah Warriors organization provided, Cooper, who has over 20 years coaching experience, decided to make the move to the Beehive state.
And according to Utah Warriors management, it was known early on during the otherwise exhaustive coaching search process that Cooper was a guy they wanted.
Fortunately, Cooper was on the same page.
“I knew early on as well,” Cooper said. “This organization has some very strong foundations, and that was really evident during the discussions we had in the early stages…I’m just really excited to help build on their success.”
— Utah Warriors Rugby (@utwarriorsrugby) July 21, 2022
Cooper comes to the Warriors with vast experience coaching highly developed leagues with a long and rich history, like France, but also, and most recently, from young leagues, such as Japan. Cooper found a lot of success helping raise the profile of Mitsubishi Dynaboars within the Japanese rugby ranks and is hoping to do similar things with the Warriors.
“I’ve analyzed the performances and I’ve talked to the coaching staff, and I honestly believe this is a team that is going places,” Cooper said. “So, the signs are there … I think it’s going to grow and grow and grow. So, for me it was an obvious fit…to go to a place where there was obvious growth to be had.”
Cooper came to Utah having done a lot of research, from exploring the team’s website, watching a lot of game film, to learning extensively about the Utah community, which perhaps may have provided the biggest pull for the long-time coach.
“There’s an incredible community spirit here,” Cooper said. “The great success of rugby teams is built on community. And when I say community, that is the link between the team and the community, and I think that is really important.”
"We are ONE TEAM! Our strength will be in our unity."
A letter from Head Coach Greg Cooper to Warriors Nation ⚔️#ForTheNation
— Utah Warriors Rugby (@utwarriorsrugby) July 26, 2022
One thing that has remained consistent with the Warriors is an influx of community support that is unmatched in Major League Rugby which Cooper and team administrators hope to maintain and increase.
“It all needs to be thought out about how you’re going to connect it to the community,” said Warriors CEO Kimball Kjar. “You’ll see that the teams that have been most successful in international rugby…they have the connection to the community to make it sustainable year over year…so a big role that (Cooper) is going to have here is to get out in the community and build those relationships.”
Despite his vast experience, Cooper is taking to his role as Warriors head coach with a lot of humility, understanding respect is earned through a process that he’s excited to undertake.
“What’s really important to me is respect, and as a coach I’ve got a lot of work to do,” Cooper said. “Yes, I’ve coached in a lot of areas, but that doesn’t mean that I just come here and become respected from the start. You’ve got to earn that right. So, there’s a lot of work in front of us and I’m excited for that work.”
Brandon Gurney is the Utah Warriors Team Reporter. With nearly two decades of experience covering BYU Football in print and on radio, Gurney brings a wealth of experience to the Utah Warriors beat. You can read all of Gurney’s stories on the Utah Warriors throughout the 2022 Season at warriorsrugby.com
The Rugby Alliance Officially Formed: Stade Toulousain and Utah Warriors Unite to Elevate Rugby to New Heights
SALT LAKE CITY (Sept. 21, 2023) – Stade Toulousain, led by President
Largest Scrum in History Bested Guinness World Record after USA Eagles Victory over Stade Toulousain
SALT LAKE CITY (Sept. 17, 2023) – A new Guinness World Record
SANDY, Utah (September 15, 2023) — Five Utah Warriors athletes will pull
Due to Public Demand, Matchup Between the USA Men’s Rugby Team and France’s Stade Toulousain is Rescheduled to Saturday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m.
SALT LAKE CITY (Aug. 21, 2023) – Due to public demand, the
HERRIMAN, Utah (August 17, 2023) — The Utah Warriors have selected Josh