Rugby America

Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective

Tennessee’s Robertson Announces Retirement

Knoxville, TN – Following the completion of his 34th year as head coach of the men’s rugby team at the University of Tennessee, Butch Robertson met with his team on Friday afternoon to announce his retirement.
Robertson steps down following a long and prosperous 34 year tenure as head coach of the Volunteers that included games in 19 states and an overall record of 751 wins, 321 losses and 26 ties.
Under his leadership the rugby team enjoyed seven national tournament appearances, two South Territory championships and three Southeastern Tournament championships.
Robertson coached nine Collegiate All-Americans and three players that went on to play for the Eagles, the United States national team.
Coach Robertson began his coaching career at Tennessee in 1977, just seven years after the founding of rugby on campus. He led the Volunteers to unprecedented heights including participation in the inaugural Collegiate Invitational 7s Tournament and participation in the first year of the Collegiate Premier Division.
Butch Robertson was introduced to rugby as a young architectural student on the campus of North Carolina State University. After graduation in 1970 he played for five years with the Atlanta Rugby Club before taking on the coaching duties at Emory University (1975-1977). Coach Robertson moved to Knoxville in 1977 and found his way to Fulton Bottoms Rugby Field.
While Robertson is retiring from active coaching, he will assume the title of Coach Emeritus and will remain an essential part of the rugby program at Tennessee.
Men’s Rugby at the University of Tennessee has named the following coaching staff for the 2011/2012 season – Marty Bradley (Head Coach), Andy Allen, David Codevilla, Mark Donaldson, Joe Siragusa and Michael Weldon.
Students began playing rugby at the University of Tennessee in 1970.  Today UT competes in Division I within the Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference with a roster of over 50 student athletes. For information and history of rugby at Tennessee, visit


4 comments on “Tennessee’s Robertson Announces Retirement

  1. benito
    May 9, 2011

    “Today UT competes in Division 1…” Is that some foreshadowing for the future of Tennessee in the CPD?

  2. College Rugby Fan
    May 9, 2011

    Could be, I’ll be surprised if LSU and Tennessee return with the SEC starting next year. Right off the bat, the conference will open more eyes on campus than the CPD did. I don’t see Oklahoma returning to the CPD either, way too much travel. The whole Mid-South Conference could be on the verge of collapse. Then what happens?

    If a few teams drop out, they’ll have a tough time replacing them. Life and Arkansas State are the only teams in the group that really need the CPD.

  3. Andy Richards
    May 9, 2011

    Congratulations to Butch – you’ve done one hell of a job. Many coaches from schools similar to yours have long since looked at emulating your program.

  4. Larry Leahy
    May 10, 2011

    What a legacy that Butch is leaving. Not mentioned in the announcement is Butch’s outreach to former players and the promotion of academic success among his players. He will be missed

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This entry was posted on May 9, 2011 by in College Rugby, Collegiate Men, Rugby News.

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