Ulster Rugby today confirmed that they will appoint a new head coach for the 2012/13 season, with Brian McLaughlin moving to a senior coaching position within the Ulster Academy on a permanent contract.
Ulster director of rugby David Humphreys today addressed the media speculation that surfaced last week around Brian McLaughlin’s future as head coach.
“While we are not yet in a position to confirm who our head coach will be for next season, I can confirm that Brian will remain in a senior coaching position at the province, moving to work with Gary Longwell in our Academy on a permanent basis,” explained Humphreys.
“Prior to Christmas, Brian and I discussed his coaching position and he was aware that we were considering a number of different coaching options for next season.
“Traditionally, the two-week break between the conclusion of the Heineken Cup pool stages and the resumption of the RaboDirect PRO12 has been the time when staff and players who are out of contract at the end of the season, are advised of their contractual position for the following season.”
McLaughlin took a career break from teaching at RBAI to take the head coach role at Ulster Rugby. He originally joined Ulster Rugby on a two-year contract in June 2009, and last year accepted a permanent senior coaching position at the province while also agreeing a year-long extension as head coach.
Humphreys added: “The option of the Academy role offered Brian long-term stability and the security to leave his teaching job in order to coach full-time.
“We are aiming to make Ulster Rugby a leading force in European rugby and to do that we need to develop our Academy system and elite player pathway.
“Brian has a proven record and a genuine interest in this area and this role offers him an opportunity to shape the future of Ulster Rugby. Our youngsters will benefit enormously from his experience.
“There’s no doubting what Brian has achieved in his tenure as head coach over the past two-and-a-half years and we hope that there is more to come this season as we prepare for the Heineken Cup quarter-final and push for a play-off place in the PRO12.”
McLaughlin commented: “While I may not be staying on as head coach I know that my coaching future lies with Ulster Rugby.
“We all know the crucial role our overseas players play in our success, but it is imperative we foster local talent in the and my new role within the Academy will ensure that I continue to play a leading role in the development of both Ulster and Irish rugby.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my two-and-a-half seasons at the helm and take huge pride in the success we’ve had.
“However, with a Heineken Cup quarter-final and a push for a PRO12 play-off spot to come, I’m very much focused on leading Ulster for the remainder of this season and am totally committed to achieving our goals of progression in both competitions.”