Penn Mutual Coach of the Month – Jeremy Ognall

Congratulations to Jeremy Ognall, Head Coach of Claremont Colleges Men’s Rugby Clubs on his selection as the Penn Mutual Coach of the month for November.

Jeremy says:

“While I appreciate the award and the recognition from NCR that goes with it, I would like to say that it’s clearly an award earned over the past six years of NCSRO success for The Claremont Colleges rugby program. It’s due to the amazing support that I have had from my Associate Head Coach and lifelong friend, Scott Bracken, and the significant addition four years ago of Ray Egan who truly helped transform us. That support along with the rest of our amazing staff, Lauren Klein, Brandon Johnson and Zach Ognall and those before them made all things possible. But undoubtedly the biggest acknowledgment goes to our players who have never wavered and continually pursue excellence in all they do. Captains Grant Frazier, Sean Pyne, Brendan MacDonald, Conner Pederson and now Jeremy Seow, with all who played under them, made my role infinitely rewarding. It’s fitting that THEY get this award also. I would like to thank NCR for their continued pursuit of excellence in College Rugby, specifically the small college element, especially Steve Hiatt and Jeremy Treece who acknowledge the hard work that has gone into making Claremont so great and the Team of the Decade within NSCRO. Also thanks to all at NCR for keeping us engaged in rugby while COVID pervades, it’s nice to have hope.”

In his nomination, a former player states that Jeremy Ognall is not just a great rugby coach, he is an incredible motivator, administrator, friend and mentor.  When Jeremy took over as the Claremont Rugby coach in 2009, he put in place structures and instilled an attitude of professionalism that have set the standard for what it means to be a Claremont Rugby Lion.  He has been instrumental in building and improving every part of the program, from fundraising and alumni engagement to media/public relations and relations with each of The Claremont Colleges’ administrations.

Jeremy’s efforts have paid massive dividends over the last decade, as is evidenced by Claremont’s immense on the field success.  Claremont secured the USA Rugby Collegiate Division II 15s National Championship in 2010, the NSCRO 15s National Championship in 2017 and 2019, and the NSCRO 7s National Championship in 2018.  Claremont Rugby has also advanced to the 15s national Elite Eight or further seven times (2010, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) and the 7s national Elite Eight or further seven times (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020).  During the 2015-16 season, Claremont became the first NSCRO team ever to qualify for both the NSCRO 15s Final 4 and the NSCRO 7s National Championship.

While the on-field success and administrative strides Jeremy has helped facilitate are no doubt important, his greatest influence on the program has been his impact on the players themselves.  From day one Jeremy has emphasized the importance of top-flight leadership at the player level, camaraderie, brotherhood, accountability, and legacy.  He not only preaches these things, but lives them, and it shows in the love his players have for him and for each other.  Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that many alums and current players consider Jeremy to be an extension of their families.  He supports his players in all their pursuits – academic, athletic, professional, and otherwise.

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