Meet Josh Mueller – A dedicated contributor
– Transferred to CSUMB in 2016 from Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, CA where I lived for 5 years, after completion of my time serving in the U.S. Army from 2004-2011.
First Rugby Experiences:
I was first introduced to the sport of rugby in 2009. At the time I was serving as a medic for operations support at the 5th Ranger Training Battalion stationed in Dahlonega, GA. During that time we were tasked with staffing the David E. Grange Best Ranger Competition held annually at Ft. Benning, GA. I was invited to participate in the annual Military Nationals Rugby Tournament also hosted by Ft. Benning, at the same time. I joined the University of North Georgia Men’s team for the tournament and played in a total of three games in one day. Needless to say, I had difficulties with mobility for the ensuing week but I was forever hooked on the sport! I continued to train and play as a guest with the UNG Men’s RFC until I completed my time in the military and relocated to Santa Maria, CA in 2011, to pursue a college education.
Since there were no local men’s teams to participate with, I transitioned my focus to working with youth as that was the only rugby action available within reasonable proximity. I was able to participate with the Central Coast Sharks Youth Rugby Club located in Santa Maria, CA for three years, mainly coaching the under-14’s team. That also provided me with the opportunity to serve on the Executive Board, increase my technical knowledge and certifications (Level 200 USA Rugby Coach certification, Touch Judge certification), as well as other support duties. These include tasks such as painting the field to USA Rugby specified guidelines and working in conjunction with the oversight organization committees to develop and implement new safety protocols (concussion awareness and baseline testing) as provided by Southern California Youth Rugby.
Currently, I have used the experience gained with other clubs and organizations to support the CSUMB Men and Women’s Rugby clubs, Central Coast Beachdogs Rugby FC (local D-III men’s club) and Monterey County Youth Rugby. I continue to serve in a variety of roles to include assistant coach, team equipment manager, first aid provider, field prep crew member and touch judge as needed.
A major selling point to applying to CSUMB as a transfer student was the belief that there was an active rugby club to join, which some of the others schools did not have. Unfortunately, this was not accurate information as I never received a response to my attempts to make contact and gain more information. When I attended Rec Fest, there were a few fellow ruggers in attendance along with a table and sign-up sheet. In order for the club to be recognized by USA Rugby for the upcoming competitive season, we require a Level 200 Certified Coach, which I was able to provide. From there I have immersed myself in all facets of club operations other than playing in any league matches. This is mostly due to my physical limitations from age and old injuries resurfacing with the physical rigors that are required from this sport. I continue to participate in an active manner during practices and attend as many matches as I can, to support the club in a logistical and team management aspect. I have also served as Club Treasurer and Safety Officer in 2016-17 and 2017-18, respectively. Due to my position as the Vice President of the Sports Club Council Executive Board, I am also able to provide some measure of guidance to the current club leadership to help in their pursuit of success.
The vision for CSUMB Rugby club
My main goal is for rugby to be played at the highest level of competition that we can produce. This includes enhancing and expanding the product we put on the field. It also involves improving the support efforts and facilities that we have on offer for this organization’s needs.
I hope to impart many of the skills necessary to be a positively contributing member of society that can be found and exercised through involvement with this sport. It is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States at this time. It has also introduced a different perspective regarding behavior and sportsmanship I have not found present in other sports and supporters.
I believe this organization offers a great deal of benefit to our student body and the Otter Experience that we provide to them. It also allows for the opportunity to build and improve local community relations through our need for support and by providing staffing for a variety of volunteering endeavors.