Hawk Rugby Coaches

Coach-Dan-YarussoDan Yarusso

Position: Head Coach
Experience: 1st year

Email: dyarusso<at>sju.edu

Coach Dan Yarusso joins Saint Joseph’s University for his first season following a highly successful decade at Stony Brook University where he oversaw the promotion from Division III to Division I during his tenure. Coach Yarusso started his rugby career at the University of Scranton (PA)and also playing for senior men’s team Long Island RFC and Suffolk RFC. In 2003, Coach Yarusso made the decision to switch his attention from playing to coaching and became the coach at Stony Brook University up until May 2013.

At Stony Brook University, Coach Yarusso helped the team reach new heights as they went from the Division 3 level to Division 1. Most recently, Stony Brook reached the 2012 USA Rugby National Championships Elite 8 before losing to Dartmouth College. Coach Yarusso has always focused on Sevens in addition to Fifteens and has coached Stony Brook Sevens to several Elite 8 appearances at the Las Vegas Invitational, a championship at the prestigious New York  Sevens tournament, and a USA Rugby Sevens Nationals appearance in 2012. In addition, Coach Yarusso has worked with several select side teams including MetNY U19/U18 All Stars, MetNY Collegiate All Star’s, and had a unique opportunity to work with the USA Hawks as part of the North American Four tournament in 2008. Recently Coach Yarusso also helped spark a rugby program at his alma mater, St. Anthony’s High School on Long Island.

Coach Yarusso works in sales for Conveyor Options and resides in Philadelphia with his wife and family.


paul-downeyPaul Downey

Position: Assistant Coach- Forwards
Experience: 7th Year

Coach Downey enters his seventh season as an Assistant Coach at Saint Joseph’s University Rugby, working primarily with the Forwards and also serving as an Assistant Coach for Hawk Rugby Sevens. Coach Downey joined Hawk Rugby and has helped them to two league titles (2008 & 2010) prior to the promotion from Division II to Division I-AA. He began coaching after a highly successful playing career for Media Men’s Rugby (Media, Pennsylvania).

Coach Downey graduated from Shippensburg University in 1996 and resides in Philadelphia with his family.  He works as an Enterprise Account Executive in Telecommunications.


Coach-John-Ferguson-5X5John Ferguson

Position: Assistant Coach- Forwards

Experience: 1st Year

Coach Ferguson enters his first season as an Assistant Coach at Saint Joseph’s University Rugby, working primarily with the forwards. Coach Ferguson is originally from New Zealand and immigrated to the United States at the beginning of 2007. Since coming to the US he has resided in the Philadelphia Area.

He started playing rugby in New Zealand whilst at high school and continued playing at 1st division club level and also with the New Zealand Army for a number of years before moving overseas.

He currently resides in Philadelphia and is a Business Security Manager for an international corporation.