After founding the East Oregon Sasquatch Rugby Club in 2009 and coaching the team ever since, Eric Gabriel is stepping aside.
Gabriel recently announced that he has stepped down as head coach of the Sasquatch to focus on building up a youth program and co-ed flag rugby. After 10 years, Gabriel just felt it was time to move on to a new challenge.
“It was good timing,” Gabriel said in an email. “We were heading into our 10th year and I had good solid coaches to take the program over. ... So the stars were aligned with good coaches to take over the high school program and for me to begin the youth flag program, which will assist in continuing the growth of rugby in the county.”
Taking over as the head coach of the Sasquatch Club is Chris Perkins, who most recently served as the assistant coach to Gabriel. Perkins played rugby in college at Western Oregon University and played with the Corvallis Rugby Club among others before moving on to coaching at Western Oregon and the East Oregon Wendigo Girls Club.
Chris’ brother, Craig Perkins, will serve as the head coach of the Wendigo Girls Club team. Craig also brings a lot of experience as a player and a coach, playing collegiately at Western Oregon University as well as the East Oregon Silverbacks Rugby Club, among others. He has also served as an assistant coach for the Sasquatch since 2012.
“Both the boys and girls programs are in very capable hands and look for good things moving forward,” Gabriel said.
For more information on the Sasquatch and Wendigo Rugy Clubs visit the club Facebook pages.