Monday, February 7, 2011

Jon Velie Named University of Oklahoma Director of Rugby

Press Release courtesy of  Tyson Meek, Oklahoma RFC

Norman, OK - The University of Oklahoma Rugby Program named Jon Velie as Director of Rugby. Velie served as Head Coach of the Sooners from 1998-2006. Velie’s top season was in 2005 when the Sooners boasted a 19-1 record and finished third in the Western US. Velie also led Oklahoma on an undefeated tour to Oxford, Cambridge and London. 

Velie’s other noteworthy accomplishments were: Establishing the Big XII Rugby Tournament, which was televised on the Fox Network, Establishing the Johnsonville Brats Full Contact Tailgate Party, rugby matches held prior to OU Football games with live radio broadcast from KRXO 107.7, establishing the Oklahoma Rugby Camp held in the $90 Million Everett Indoor Training Facility and creating the Scrumdown for the Skull, an annual showdown with the University of Texas the night before the football matchup in Dallas, Texas. 



Velie currently practices Immigration, Sports and Corporate Law where he has represented USA Rugby, the Edmonton Oilers, Oklahoma City Barons, Los Angeles Sparks, Aspen/Snowmass, Telluride Skiing Company, Bart Conner Gymnastics, two Wimbledon Winners, Bath and Saracens Rugby Clubs of England as well as hundreds of athletes in numerous sports.

Velie also served as Tour Manager of the All-American Rugby Tour to Ireland in 2001 and was a selector for the All-American team for a number of years. As a player, Velie was a three time All-American and National Champion for the University of California. Played for Team America in the World Rugby Classic in 1999-2000, Won a Gold Medal for the U.S, in the 1997 World Maccabi Games, Gold Medal as captain of the Pan-American Maccabi Games in 2005 and Silver in the World Maccabi Games in 2003.

“Jonny has been a part of OU Rugby since his father co-founded the club in 1974, when he was eight years old. The Director of Rugby position is a vehicle for OU Rugby to use his experience and knowledge of rugby and sports in general to develop long term vision and goals to ensure the rugby program operates on par with winning sporting tradition expected at the University of Oklahoma,” says Head Coach Kenneth Forehand.
“With Oklahoma’s inclusion in the Premier Collegiate League and bid for NBC’s USA Collegiate Sevens Championship, we needed to tap all our resources. Jon Velie is certainly one of our top rugby resources,” says Tyson Meek, Asst. Coach, former Eagle and professional rugby player who played and captained a number Velie’s teams.

“It is an honor to represent the University of Oklahoma again,” says Velie, “my vision for the Director of Rugby post is to provide executive analysis to the coaches and player leadership in all areas of the program. We must approach all from a planning point and test and measure our results. While we are honored to be invited into the CPL, we now need to compete both on and off the field with the top programs in the Nation.

We are well positioned at OU, we have an administration that has supported the club since its inception. We have a clubhouse, a rugby complex with two full sized rugby pitches maintained by the Athletic Department and a history of producing world-class rugby players at a University with a national reputation for sports excellence. Kenneth Forehand, Tyson Meek and Captain Taylor Mokate have done great things to prepare the boys for the inaugural Premier Collegiate season on the pitch. It is time for me and the other OU Old Boys to help off the pitch.”

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