BRUNSWICK, Maine - Rick Scala, the long-time head coach of the Bowdoin men's rugby team, has announced that he will step down following the conclusion of the 2015-16 season.
Scala, who has been the head coach of the program since 1986, has led the Polar Bears to unprecedented success since taking the helm, winning over 75% of his contests, qualifying for the playoffs on a dozen occasions and winning the 1992 New England Championship. Additionally, Bowdoin has not lost a regular season match since 2011.
"I have been privileged to work with such exceptional young men for the past thirty years," says Scala. "As is the case with most rugby programs, the relationships don't end after four years but continue well beyond graduation. I will be forever grateful for the support that the alums have given to Bowdoin Rugby, and am honored to call them lifelong friends."
"Rick Scala has been an incredibly important member of our local and campus community," says Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan '98. "Rick positively influenced the lives of hundreds of Bowdoin students, introducing many to a sport they continue to enjoy today. His leadership of our Men's Rugby program will be missed, but we look forward to continuing to see Rick on the sideline at our games and thank him for his outstanding support of our students and alumni."
"Rick Scala has been the heart and soul of the Bowdoin Rugby Football Club for the past three decades," according to former player Andy Palmer '88. "He focuses on three simple pillars which have profoundly influenced generations of Bowdoin ruggers: inclusiveness, teamwork and having fun through playing rugby. The bond that these pillars create among Bowdoin rugby players has translated into an exceptionally close group of over 300 alumni that trace their first experience with rugby to Rick. Personally, Rick's values taught me not just how to succeed on the pitch but off it as well."
A math teacher at Brunswick Junior High School, Scala and his wife Janet have a son, Tony. He will step down as coach following the spring 2016 campaign when a national search will commence for his replacement.