LETHBRIDGE, Alberta (AP) Rugby coach Ric Suggitt, who guided national teams for both the United States and Canada, has died. He was 58.
Suggitt, coach of the women’s team at the University of Lethbridge, died Tuesday from a medical complication, the school said in a release.
The Edmonton native led the U.S. women’s sevens team from 2010 through the end of the 2014-15 World Series season, helping the Americans qualify for the Rio Olympics and to a silver medal at the 2015 Pan American Games where it lost 55-7 to Canada in the final.
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”I was always proud to call Ric a friend, enjoyed his company, and he frequently brought a smile to my face, as he did to so many,” USA Rugby CEO Dan Payne said in a statement. ”He will be greatly missed and always remembered as a great man for North American rugby.”
Suggitt took over the Lethbridge program in 2015.
He joined Rugby Canada in 1999 and coached the Canadian men at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. He also led Canada’s men’s sevens team. On the women’s side, he guided the senior 15s team and under-19 and under-23 programs.
”It is with great sadness the Canadian rugby community mourns the sudden passing of Ric Suggitt, someone who did so much for our sport in this country,” Rugby Canada board chairman Tim Powers said in a statement.
Suggitt left Rugby Canada when his contract was not renewed after an 0-3-1 performance at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, including a 42-17 loss to Wales in the opener after leading 17-9 after 45 minutes.
Suggitt had a 10-18-1 record as Canadian coach.
Rugby Canada said Suggitt will be honored at Saturday’s Canada-U.S. men’s game in San Diego.