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Dr. Gregory Jones

Head Men's Rugby Coach

Difference Maker

Nominator: Devon Somma '17

Devon's Memories: I came to Kutztown for a tour back in 2010, only to have the harsh reality of not taking high school seriously come back to bite me in the rear end.

Rugby was my number one interest at the university, and I couldn't just give it up. The rich history behind one of the best programs in the entire United States is too much to get into.  However, the man behind it all is still here, putting in more hours, sweat, blood and tears than all the players before me, and more than all the players after me could even hope to contribute in a lifetime. Dr. Gregg Jones is that man. He has had such an impact on my on-the-field career as well as in my academics.

Rugby is a club sport, so we receive little funding from the university and have to raise what money we need ourselves. It's also a huge misconception that club sports don't hold their players accountable for grades or misconduct. I have experienced, firsthand, having to sit on the bench for an entire season because I couldn't follow simple rules. I was at Kutztown for all the wrong reasons; I was here to play sports, and get a degree in my free time.

Coach Jones has supported me from day one through multiple injuries, always telling me that homework and class were more important than practice. If you are injured, stay home from practice, but don't produce anything less than perfect in the classroom.

At the end of the 2012 school year, I decided that it wasn't financially worth it to continue my studies at Kutztown. Coach Jones (as well as Larry Chester, our defensive and conditioning coach) supported me 100 percent in my decision to take a year off school and join the Army National Guard, not only for the financial aid, but for more structure and discipline in my life.

I am not embarrassed to admit that I am 23 years old and only a sophomore at Kutztown. Everything happens for a reason, and without my coaches being there for me-even after I let them down numerous times-I wouldn't be where I am today, and I definitely wouldn't be the man I am today. 

I am extremely thankful for the opportunities I have had thus far in life, and I now truly understand how lucky I am to be able to study at Kutztown University. I know Coach Jones isn't a professor, but he is and will forever be a part of the Kutztown family.

I think I speak for all the rugby players fortunate enough to step onto that pitch when I say thank you, Doc (Coach Jones) and thank you, LC (Coach Chester). 

Run with the Bears!

Difference Makers Sponsored by PSECU