"Though we play to win, our coaching philosophy is to first focus on developing our players’ skills, character and positive competitive spirit, with the objective of helping them become accomplished rugby players."
Our coaches take rugby seriously and understand the delicate nature of teaching safe contact and other skills. Rugby is their passion – and they have a deep-rooted desire to share that with others and inspire the youth of our community to be a part of something great! Here’s a bit about their backgrounds:
COACH BULL: Coach Bull (Jason Doyle) is a 1993 graduate of Perry High School where he played football, wrestled, and participated on the speech team and in the choral program, and in the Perry Players. Coach Bull played rugby with the Canton Maddogs from 1993 until 2016. He was an original board member for the Canton Rugby Foundation, and served as Team Captain and Press Secretary for the team as well. Jason started Panther Rugby at the middle school level in 2015 when his son Jake was in 7th Grade at Edison Middle School. Coach Bull holds a Level 200 coaching certificate from USA Rugby, is SafeSport certified, CPR certified, and has completed his Referee Certification. Jason is currently the President of the Panther Rugby Booster Club, Head Coach of the High School Boys and Girls Teams and Assistant Coach for all other Perry teams. Jason also serves as the Commissioner for the Canton Middle School League.
COACH DOUG: Coach Doug (Doug Higgins) is a 1992 graduate of Timken High School, and owner of Downtown Automotive Service Center. Doug played rugby with the Canton Maddogs from 1992 until 2015. Doug was 4-time captain, and also served as Vice President of Canton Rugby. Coach Doug holds a Level 200 coaching certificate from USA Rugby, is CPR certified, and SafeSport certified. Doug has been a part of Panther Rugby from day one...in fact, he has donated every jersey that our kids have ever played in! Doug is currently the Vice President of the Panther Rugby Booster Club, Head Coach of the Middle School Boys and Girls Teams, and assistant Head Coach of the High School Boys and Girls Teams.
COACH MOOSE: Coach Moose (Joe Doyle) is a 2003 graduate of Perry High School where he lettered in football and wrestling. Joe furthered his football career at Malone University and was a starting lineman on the winning 2007 Victory Bowl team. Coach Moose played rugby with the Canton Maddogs from 2010 to 2016. He has served as co-treasurer and fundraising chairman for the Canton Rugby Club throughout the years. Joe has been with the Panther Rugby Club since 2016 helping with both the middle school and high school levels. He holds a level 100 coaching certificate from USA Rugby and is SafeSport certified. Joe is currently the Secretary of the Panther Rugby Booster Club.
COACH FLORY: Coach Flory (Flory Fernandez) is a 1970 graduate of Oakwood High School. Flory retired in 2016 after 46 years working and instructing apprentices in ceramic tile, marble masonry and terrazzo tile. He started playing rugby in the spring of 1976 for Kent State. The following summer he heard about interest in forming a rugby club in Canton and went all in! He and 5 others who had played for various college clubs started putting a club together. While serving as President in the early years, he secured the clubs first corporate sponsor. In 1979 Flory was invited to tour the UK with the Akron Rugby Club and had the pleasure to play rugby in three different countries. Flory was elected captain/coach for the 1981/1982 seasons. He retired from active play in 1992 after 16 seasons. In 2016, Flory was inducted into the Canton Rugby Football Club Hall of Fame. 2019 will be Coach Flory's second season assisting the Panther Rugby Club.
COACH RAMSEY: Emily Ramsey is a 2007 graduate of Southern Local High School, in Columbiana County, Ohio. She graduated with honors from The University of Akron in 2011, with a bachelor's degree in Physical Education. She currently teaches middle school physical education for Akron Public Schools and is also an Assistant Girls Basketball Coach at Firestone High School, in Akron. Throughout high school, Emily was very active in sports while balancing academic responsibilities; earning a total of 11 varsity letters in volleyball, basketball, and softball as well as earning the title of class valedictorian. It was while in college that she first discovered and fell in love with the sport of rugby. She has played 9 seasons with the Akron Women’s Rugby Club, serving as team captain for 6 of those years. She has also served as the team’s Match Secretary. In addition to playing for Akron, she has also been a member of the newly founded Cleveland Rugby Coalition 7’s Team, the Ohio Elite U23 Select Side, and the Ohio Senior Select Side. Coach Ramsey holds a Level 200 Coaching Certificate from USA Rugby, a Pupil Activity Permit from the Ohio Department of Education, is SafeSport Certified, and CPR Certified.
COACH HERM: Coach Herm (Herman Valentine) is a 1981 graduate from GlenOak high school, and a 1988 graduate of Kent State University, where he received his BS in Aerospace Technology. Herm has played rugby at many different levels. He started as Canton Maddog right out of high school, and went on to play for the Kent State University team for 4 years. Lieutenant Colonel Herman Valentine proudly served our country for 33 years, and retired from the US Army in 2014. His service travels took him to many different places where he was able to play the sport on base in the States and abroad. His club affiliations include the Fort Ruckers Football Club, the Fort Leavenworth Rugby Club, the D.C. Poltroons Rugby Club, the Fort Myer Old Guard Rugby Club, and the Camp Victory Multi-National Corps Iraq Rugby Football Club. Most of his playing career was as a wing or fullback, and he served as Captain at both Fort Rucker and Fort Myer. Coach Herm joined the Panther coaching staff in 2016, where he has assisted at both the middle school and high school level. He also served as a founding member of the Panther Rugby Booster Club. He holds a level 100 Coaching Certificate from USA Rugby, is SafeSport Certified, and CPR Certified. He's also received direct raining in the following areas: Introduction to Coaching, Key Factor Analysis, Functional Role Analysis, Coaching Children, and Rugby Ready. Herm currently serves as an EMS Helicopter Pilot with MedFlight of Ohio.