BOULDER, Colo. – The rugby community tragically lost one of its most passionate, stand-out pioneers earlier this year in Dave Sitton, head coach of the University of Arizona men’s rugby club from 1978-2013. To honor Sitton and his lasting contributions, USA Rugby is proud to name its Men’s Division I Most Valuable Player Award for the 2013 USA Rugby College 7s National Championship The Dave Sitton Memorial Trophy.
Sitton coached the Wildcats for 35 years and led his team to a 2-2 record at the Collegiate Rugby Invitational just weeks before his passing. He compiled a 400-212-12 all-time record during his coaching career on top of his four years playing rugby as an undergrad in Tucson. Sitton also served as the voice of the University of Arizona’s basketball, football and baseball teams on television for 33 years.
“Dave was a personal friend of mine during those years and was a special proponent of all things rugby – from the novice player to the gifted athlete,” USA Rugby Collegiate Director Rich Cortez said. “He organized, promoted, nurtured, and, at times, cajoled his teams to higher achievements in both the sevens and 15s versions of rugby.
“We will miss his energy and enthusiasm. With this award, perhaps we can remember that excellence is an objective worthy of a lifelong quest.”
The rewards of Sitton’s dedication to the game of rugby in the United States is being reaped across the country, including the Men’s Eagles and Men’s Eagles Sevens national teams. Former Wildcats Brett Thompson and Ryan Matyas are currently representing the red, white and blue on the IRB Sevens World Series circuit, while Matyas was also a member of the USA Rugby AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans Sevens team which won the Cup at the 2013 Serevi Rugbytown Sevens this summer.
“Dave would love this beautiful tribute in his memory and his daughters Olivia and Blakeney and I are honored that USA Rugby has chosen to name the MVP award after him,” Sitton’s sister Margie said.
The 2013 College 7s National Championships kick off in Greensboro, N.C., Nov. 23 with 48 teams from the Men’s DI, D2/Small College, and Women’s DI and DII conferences participating in the two-day tournament.