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Home > Pat Coleman - 2010 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Recipient

 Pat Coleman -
 2010 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Grant Recipient

San Diego, CA (November 1, 2010) - Pat Coleman is a second generation rugby player as his father, Michael, played for Eastside Rugby Club in the early 80s. Pat started playing in his freshman season at Xavier High School in New York City and over the course of the last four years has certainly made his presence known. He had always participated in sports but he immediately developed an affinity for rugby. “Maybe it was because my dad played, maybe it was the fast paced action of the game, or perhaps it was that Xavier has been a dominant team on the East Coast for the past 20 years. Whatever the reason, the game of rugby has had an incredible impact on my life.”

The big, physical second row has played a major role in keeping Xavier at or near the top of the list of rugby playing high schools not only on the East Coast but in the country. Pat was a co-captain of the Xavier team his senior year and after a severe mid-season elbow injury, worked hard to rehabilitate the elbow and returned to lead Xavier to the National High School Championship title.

“Pat worked extremely hard at every training session,” said Xavier coach, Mike Tolkin. “He brought tremendous intensity to training sessions and matches. He progressed into an excellent, talented player and strong leader with an impeccable work ethic. He continued to attend sessions and games and helped out during his injury. When he returned our level of play definitely improved, but more importantly, the level of inspiration among his teammates that his return to the lineup and captaincy brought was tangible. And that is really the essence of Pat Coleman.”

Pat is a well-rounded young man. During his junior and seniors years, Pat was a member of the Loyola Chapter of the National Honors Society; he was also a member of Xavier’s Irish American Society all four years; a three-sport athlete, also participating in football and swimming; and a respected student among the entire administration, faculty, coaches and fellow students. Pat credits rugby with helping him achieve on and off the pitch. “Teamwork, dedication and perseverance are characteristics not taught in any book, but gained from experience. Playing rugby has helped me develop these personal traits.”

Off the pitch and off campus, Pat kept himself busy with community projects. He was a swim coach for three years for the Catholic Youth Organization. His summers during his high school years were spent volunteering as a lifeguard for the Wounded Warriors Project, which provided recreational opportunities for wounded troops returning from war. During his senior year, Pat also tutored 5th and 6th graders in math and English at his grammar school, Saint Anselm Elementary School.

Pat has followed the path taken by his former Xavier teammate, Seamus Kelly, and has enrolled in college at another rugby powerhouse, Cal. Bears head coach Jack Clark was scouting at the High School National Championships and was impressed by what he saw in the big lock: “I really didn't expect to see him play in the Nationals because of his elbow injury, but there he was, with this huge brace on his elbow leading his team to the championship. I've wanted Pat to join us since his junior year, but I really wanted him after watching him play his guts out for his team while carrying injury."

Now that Pat is a freshman playing Cal rugby, Coach Clark says, "Pat is cut from that same Xavier mold as Seamus Kelly. This is really a stud kid. He's a work-hard do the right thing young man, who will be a future team leader at Cal.”

While Pat has aspirations to one day play for the United States Men’s National Team at the Rugby World Cup, he also plans on earning his degree in Business Administration at Cal and pursue a career in Federal Law Enforcement.

Congratulations Pat on being named a 2010 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient.

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