CLEMSON, SC— Clemson University Head Rugby Coach, Steve Lynch, announced today that Mickey Bateman has been hired as an Assistant Coach for Clemson University Men’s Rugby Program. Bateman comes to Clemson from Lindenwood University, where he was a 4-year starter, 2-time 7s National Champion, National MVP and multi-year 7s and 15s All-American.
“Mickey is known throughout collegiate rugby as one of the best and most knowledgeable players in the country,” said Coach Lynch. “We are very fortunate to have him join the Clemson family and we expect him to make an immediate impact on our competitiveness both in the D1A Mid-South and nationally. I’ve known Mickey for 4 years, he is an exceptional player, but more importantly, an exceptional person, the type of character we are recruiting at Clemson.”
Coach Bateman stated, “Over the last 3 years at Lindenwood we have seen more and more of Clemson on the rugby scene. As time has gone on, I have seen huge improvements and they have collected some great wins as underdogs. To me Clemson rugby is a team that has a huge heart and are a team that no one can take lightly. There is a great core group of players with top range facilities to utilize. I want to grow these guys knowledge of the game and introduce some of my New Zealand flair and culture into the team.”
Mickey noted, “I’m also very lucky that Clemson is a highly respected academic university, I will be looking to further my education with a master’s in communications or go on a new path with a degree in food technology.
I’m excited to arrive and get on board, meet the boys and get to work. Frankly, I’m also very excited about avoiding the mid-west winter.”
A native of Auckland, New Zealand, Mickey played halfback for Kings College 1st 15 for 2 years, arguably the most difficult high school rugby competition in the world, and represented Auckland in three age groups. Mickey Captained Auckland U14, U16 and was selected for the Auckland Blues U17 before moving to the USA to attend Lindenwood University. Notably, every summer Mickey returns to his native New Zealand to play for Auckland University, snagging a U21 Championship in 2015.
At Lindenwood University Mickey played on the 1st 15 (varsity) all four years. He arrived as a half back, but was moved to 1st and 2nd Five-Eighths for the benefit of the team. Lindenwood has finished in the top 8 in the country for 4 straight years, making the national semi-final three out of four years. Lindenwood has won two 7s Collegiate National Championships during the same time-period, making them one of the most dominant teams in D1A Rugby. Mickey was honored with numerous awards in his collegiate career, including both 7s and 15s All-American, D1A Back of the Year and the D1A USA National 7s MVP.
Mickey plans on continuing his playing career with his eyes on professional rugby. Mickey joins the Clemson City Elite RFC, playing the inaugural season in the CGRU D2 – West Division with the 2017 D2 Men’s Club National Champions – Life University Running Eagles, Charlotte RFC, Atlanta Old White and Atlanta Renegades.