By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

2023-24 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Recipient: Roan O'Connell

April 11, 2024

Born into a rugby family, it was inevitable Roan O’Connell would one day find his way onto the pitch. At the ripe age of five, Roan began his rugby career with the San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Club. O’Connell’s young career would lead him to appearances with Eagle Impact Rugby Academy, the Bay Area Sharks, and Rebels. With the Eagle Impact Rugby Academy, Roan went on tour to Shawinigan Lake to play the British Columbia All-Star Team in 2019. He was also privileged to accept an invite to train at the USA All-American Camp and was selected to attend the IRANZ Camp in New Zealand in 2022. 

“His dedication to the program was evident from the start. Roan not only applied himself on the field but also off the field. Roan is quiet by nature and is an extremely nice individual, very well-liked by his teammates, coaches, and parents in the program. Roan possesses great speed, skill, and determination on the field with an eye for the goal line. Having played rugby for SFGG since he was 5 years old, the club is very proud of his accomplishments thus far in his young career. Joining brother Kealan at Cal says a lot on the academic/athletic ambitions of the O’Connell family,” said San Francisco Golden Gate Head Coach, Tony Wells. 

O’Connell graduated from Saint Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, California with a 3.77 GPA. He was a multi-sport athlete also competing in soccer, basketball, football, hurling, and Gaelic football. When he was not competing, he was an active volunteer assistant coach with the San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby youth club and with his local Veteran’s Center. 

O’Connell will continue his academic and athletic career at the University of California, Berkeley. While working toward a starting spot for the perennial powerhouse Golden Bears, he intends on discovering a major that leads him to a career of service within his community. After college, his ultimate goal is to play internationally for the USA Eagle 7s squad. Roan looks forward to giving back to San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Club as a volunteer as “a result of my gratefulness for everything various members of my club from different generations provided for me.”