Stephens appointed head coach of McGill women's rugby team
Matthew Stephens, a 43-year-old native of Beaconsfield, Que., has been appointed head coach of the McGill University women's rugby team.
He replaces John Lavery, who stepped down recently for family reasons after guiding the team to a 7-4 overall record in his lone season.
Stephens, who graduated from John Abbott College in 1989, has been coaching since 1992. He served as technical director and assistant coach of the Canadian national senior women's team from 2003 to 2006.
He helped guide the squad to a fourth-place finish at the 2006 World Cup. Between 1999 and 2001, Stephens guided the Quebec senior women's team to a pair of national championships and also served as a specialist coach with the national under-18 and U-20 women's team, as well as stints at Concordia, John Abbott College and the men's team at McGill's Macdonald campus.
He also served as a guest coach with the McGill Martlets and with the Ste. Anne de Bellevue Rugby Football Club.
"Having seen many of the current Martlets play over the past few years, I believe that we have an amazing core of people, not just players," said Stephens. "The bar has been set high by the previous coaches (Lavery and Vince DeGrandpré) and our coaching staff will strive to push those standards ever higher. Can't wait to get started!"