2022-23 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Program Recipient: Brad Kissinger
With 11 years of rugby experience under his belt, Brad Kissinger has been fortunate to have been coached by some of the greatest coaches in the sport and played with some of the greatest players in his age group. His play has taken him all over the world to Dubai, Ireland, Spain, and throughout North America. He was captain of the Celina Rugby Club and has also played for the Eagle Impact Rugby Academy, Team 5785, Gorilla Rugby, and the Rocky Mountain Rebels.
“I’ve known Brad since 2018 when he attended his 1st Winter Camp. Since then, he’s played in a record eleven EIRA assemblies and tours, including Ireland in 2019 and Spain in 2021. Brad is one of the best young players to enter college this year. While I admire his ability to play the game I’m equally impressed by his character and demeanor. He’s a good teammate that genuinely cares and will go out of his way to help those around him. He was the glue for the Celina Rugby Club during his high school career,” said Salty Thompson, Eagle Impact Rugby Academy Director.
Kissinger graduated from Celina High School in Celina, Texas in the spring of 2022 with a 3.86 GPA. He served as the Celina High School student council vice president and was a member of the Mu Alpha Theta Honors Mathematics Society and the National Honor Society. He was a member of the high school football team, earning second team all-district recognition at the defensive tackle position and helped his team reach the Texas state semifinals. He was a regional qualifier in powerlifting and competed in track and field.
He will continue his academic and athletic career at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. He will pursue a degree in pre-physical therapy with inspiration to give back to the game of rugby as a physical therapist one day. He would like to advance his rugby career and play in the MLR. He also has an interest in coaching and refereeing.
“Brad joined us here at GCU this Fall and has been an absolute pleasure to be around both on and off the field. Brad had a difficult start to his freshman year as he had undergone shoulder surgery earlier this year and was prohibited from contact until October. He demonstrated great leadership and mental toughness to attend every on-field and classroom session during his recovery. As a high IQ Rugby player, he made himself available to assist other players and was always first to help setting up or breaking down the field. Since he has recovered, he has broken into our 1st Team Squad and is fighting for a starting spot for our competitive season in the spring. He is liked and trusted by his teammates and coaches alike. He is respectful and fun to be around. He also demonstrates great leadership skills for a young player,” said Sean O’Leary, Grand Canyon University Director of Rugby.