The recently retired Ulster and Ireland legend David Humphreys has just been appointed Operations Director at Ulster Rugby.
Ulster Rugby have announced that David Humphreys, who recently retired from professional rugby, has been appointed to the role of Operations Director at the province.
The 72 times-capped Ireland out-half, who retired from playing rugby with an emotional appearance against the Cardiff Blues last month, will be trading the tracksuit for a shirt and tie as he takes up his new position within the administration structure at Ulster, reporting to the Chief Executive.
With Humphreys categorically stating that he had no desire to pursue a career in coaching, most had expected him to begin his post-rugby career in the legal world with a firm of Belfast-based solicitors.
However, his appointment to the newly created role, based at Ravenhill, is quite a coup for Ulster Rugby.
As Operations Director, Humphreys has two main remits. With regard to off-field activity of the professional team and Academy, he will be responsible for ensuring the creation of an environment where the Ulster squad and management team can perform to their optimum abilities.
This part of his role will involve work on areas including player-contracting and negotiations, facilities provision and the management of systems and while Humphreys will not be part of the management panel, he will liaise closely with the coaching staff.
His second key function will involve working closely with senior administrative staff at Ravenhill, building the profile of Ulster Rugby both within the province and further afield, and particularly within the business community.
Ulster Rugby Chief Executive Michael Reid commented: “We are delighted that David has chosen to accept the Operations Director position, and that at the conclusion of his playing career, we have been able to keep him involved as part of the wider team at Ulster Rugby.
“Having ‘been there and done that’ in terms of his playing career, he is respected by both the player group and the management team and will have a strong input into off-field issues going forward.
“He has been a wonderful ambassador for Ulster rugby throughout his playing career and with this appointment he will also have a role to play within the business where we will also be looking to use his profile and association with the province in a very positive way commercially.”
Humphreys will formally take up his new position at the beginning of July in preparation for the coming season. He is looking forward to the challenges ahead.
“While my experiences as a player will stand me in good stead in terms of a number of my responsibilities relating to the professional team and the Academy, one of the main attractions of the role was the opportunity to get involved with the general management and business of Ulster Rugby, and stretch myself in a new area,” he said.
“I’ve been involved in rugby long enough to know that the off-pitch aspects of running a club are vital to the success of the on-field team.
“Having spent the best part of the last twenty years on the field with Ulster Rugby, I’m looking forward to becoming a part of that structure and helping to make Ulster one of Europe’s premier rugby clubs both on and off the pitch.”