Mary Graham – 2021

Mary Graham is a pioneer who played a leading role in the establishment of several women’s All Star programs in Texas in the early 2000s during her tenure as Head Coach of the Rice women’s team and as a player for HARC. She also contributed her skills to the Austin Valkyries. Most notably, Mary Graham created the U-23 program when All Star opportunities for women were limited, and then expanded her impact to similar capacities at the Western USA level, including serving as the Assistant Coach of the Western U-19s. Administratively, she dedicated her service as the TRU Women’s Division Director before her career led her to Colorado, where she continued to make important contributions to the game.

In recognition of her significant contributions, the Texas Rugby Union (TRU) All Star Challenge was renamed in 2019 to honor her contributions. Mary played a pivotal role in establishing the first U23 Texas Rugby Union All Star team in 2001. The renaming of this annual event serves as a lasting tribute to her pioneering efforts and enduring impact on the women’s rugby community.

Mary Graham began coaching for the Rice University Women’s Rugby Club in 1999 as the forward’s coach. In 2000, she was asked by the Rice University Alumni Association to take over as Head Coach and help develop the women’s rugby program further. Mary served as the Head Coach for the Rice University club through 2006. Mary attained a Level III USA Rugby coaching certificate and a Master Class Coaching certificate offered to USA coaches for continuing coaching development.

In 2001, Mary initiated the first Texas Rugby Union Women’s U23 Select Side team in effort to make available high-level competition to the TRU collegiate players. In 2001, Mary along with Dustin George (ERRFU), would create the first West U23 LAU Tournament. The tournament continued to expand and evolve each year as a selection venue for the West U23 All Star team.

Besides serving as the TRU U23 Select Side Head Coach, Mary also served as the Texas Rugby Union Women’s Director from ~2002-2004 and Women’s Collegiate Director from ~2002-2006.

After moving to Colorado in 2006, Mary served as assistant coach under Karl Barth for the Eastern Rockies (ERRFU) U19 Women’s All-Star Team and West U19 Women’s All Star Team from 2007-2010.

Mary attended Colorado School of Mines on a swimming scholarship and graduated in 1990 with a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering. Mary also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Rice University.

Mary has worked 30 years in the energy industry, including four years as a United States Army officer. She is currently a Project Manager with ZAP Engineering and Construction Services in Denver, CO.

Mary currently resides in Arvada, CO. Her hobbies include competing in Masters Olympic Weightlifting and Masters Track and Field. Mary has continued to serve as a coach in Nutrition and Olympic Weightlifting.

1999–2000: Assistant Coach, Rice University WRFC, Houston, TX
2000–2006: Head Coach, Rice University WRFC, Houston, TX
2001–2006: Head Coach, TRU U23 Women’s Select Side
2001- 2002: TRU Women’ Select Side Manager
2003: West Senior Women’s Select Side Manager
2008: West U23 Assistant Coach
2007 – 2010: Assistant Coach, ERRFU U19 & U23
2008 – 2010: Assistant Coach, West U19

1998: Charter Member – Houston Athletic Rugby Club, Houston, TX
1998–1999: Club Manager – Houston Althletic Rugby Club, Houston, TX
1999-2000: Training/Event Coordinator – US Combined Services Women’s Rugby
2002-2004: TRU Women’s Division Director – Texas Rugby Union
2002-2006 TRU Women’s Collegiate Division Director
2003-2004 Western Rugby Football Union – Senior Women’s All-Star Team Manager

Coaching Certifications – (Note: All Expired)
1999: Level I USA Rugby Coaching Certification, Cleveland, OH
2000: Level II USA Rugby Coaching Certification, Chicago, IL
2001: Level III, USA Rugby Coaching Certification, Chicago, IL
2001: Rugby Imports Master Class Coaching Certification, Houston, TX