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Coaching Staff

We are extremely fortunate to have such an excellent coaching team here at Durham. Our coaching structures are world-class, and our staff bring a depth of international coaching and playing experience to the programme. Many of our sports programmes contain full-time performance coaches, who dedicate their time to supporting our student-athletes to achieve both their academic and sporting potential.

American Football
Danny Ketch - Head Coach of American Football

Prior to Durham, Danny was a former FBU Europe and GB U19 Assistant Coach. He has now retained his role at Durham for 6 years, and as the Defensive Coordinator for the 2017-2018 period, led the team to a National Championship win. 

Contact Danny for more information on Durham University's American Football Team. 

Official webpage for American Football

Badminton
TBC

TBC

Contact Matt for more information on Durham University's Badminton Club.

Official webpage for Badminton.

Basketball

 

Lee Davie - Head of Basketball

In previous roles, Lee has held positions such as Fiba Europe U16 Head Coach, Basketball England's U15/16 Head Coach from 2006-2016, and GB U20 Coach. As well as withholding Head of Basketball at Team Durham for 6 years, Lee has also dominated the Women's Basketball League, leading as Head Coach for the Durham Palatinates. During Lee's time at Durham, he has overseen two BUCS National Championship wins in 2012 and 2018, including WBBL Cup finalists in 2020 and Trophy finalists in 2019 and 2020; predominantly coaching the women's team. 

Lee has a wealth of experience working within basketball, and oversees the basketball programme here at Durham. Lee holds his athletes testimony to his favourite Durham sporting memories, flourishing over the years with hundreds of players who have come through the system; whilst pursuing their education and playing the game they all love. 

Contact Lee about Women's Basketball, and the professional team Durham Palatinates.

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Ian Hewitt - Men's Basketball Coach

Ian brings over 20 years of coaching experience to the role of Men's basketball coach. His CV is populated with an outstanding career track as Regional Coach in 2015-2016, former NBL Coach of the Year, England's U15 Coach 2015-2017, whilst holding 8 BUCS League Championships and 4 NBL National Titles. 

Outside of Basketball at Durham, Ian manages The Institute of Sport and Education at Bede Sixth Form College. 

One of the greatest achievements within Ian's coaching career included taking Durham's previous Division 3 BUCS team, progressing them to BUCS Premiership as a player coach. Similarly, Ian supported and progressed his prior club from NBL Division 4, up to Division 1. Ian's highlighted sporting memory whilst here at Durham was taking the men's team to their first Final 8's Competition back in 2010, after 3 back-to-back promotions. 

Contact Ian with any queries relating to Men's Basketball at Durham. 

Official webpage for University Basketball. 

Boats
Rob Dauncey - Head of Rowing

Rob joined DUBC as Head of Rowing in 2021. Rob has spent over 10 years coaching the best that Great Britain has to offer, having spent five years as a high-performance coach at Leander before stepping into his position coaching on the GB Team. Here, Rob coached multiple crews to world medals, including two silvers for the Men’s pair in 2014 and 2015 behind the formidable New Zealand pair. At the Rio Olympics, Rob coached DUBC Alumnus, Stewart Innes, to a 4th place in the Men’s pair. In previous roles, Rob was the Director of Rowing at Wallingford RC, a British Rowing High Performance Centre, culminating in the club producing a number of Olympic and World level athletes.

 

Rob was attracted to the role at DUBC after spending 10 weeks coaching the Men’s squad in the leadup to Henley 2021. He saw opportunities for the club to reach it’s full potential and loved the atmosphere and commitment that the athletes fostered. The athletes have full confidence in Rob to help us deliver the club’s goals in the leadup to the 150th anniversary in 2027. The goal is to reinstate Durham as the leading university boat club in the country, winning races on the biggest stages and increasing the number of athletes selected for the national team. For us, this means winning the men’s and women’s eights categories at Henley Royal Regatta for the first time in DUBC history.

 

Contact Rob about the World leading facilities Durham has to offer, the club, coaches and athlete sport. 

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Will Fletcher - Lead Rowing Coach

A former Durham alumnus from 2011, Will held the position of Development Coach shortly after graduating. After pursuing a career as an international rower, Will has recently been appointed the position of Lead Rowing Coach in 2022. Will's extensive history as a performance athlete brings courage, passion and experience of the pathway to his role. Will has represented Great Britain since the age of 15, winning numerous international medals and GB trials three times. Will's successes continued in his rowing career, succeeding as a 2010 Under23 World Champion, 2012 European Silver medal, 2013 and 2015 Bronze World Cup winner, 7th place in Rio Olympics in 2016 and World Cup Gold in 2017.

 

Contact Will with any questions on rowing for DUBC as a performance athlete. Kinsale Bed and Breakfast Gallery B&B from €50 per night Accommodation in  Kinsale

Holly Young - Assistant Rowing Coach

Before coming to Durham, Holly rowed and coached at Chester-Le-Street Amateur Rowing Club from 2007 - 2020. She commenced her rowing career as a learn-to-row coach for both juniors and seniors at the club, progressing into the coaching team being allocated a junior squad. Holly spent the following 6 years coaching different squads within the club of all levels and abilities, including athletes who went on to trial within the GB junior system. Outside of Chester-le-Street, Holly held coaching roles at various other clubs and schools, including York City, setting up an academy for rowing at Park View School, coached at Queen Elizabeth High School and sat on the Northern Rowing Council as an Assistant Junior Coordinator. Holly upheld multiple roles within the clubs she has worked in, supporting her position at DUBC, including club captain, junior club captain, school development officer and training camp leader.

 

Holly moved to Durham University Boat Club as an Assistant Rowing Coach in 2021, eager to be involved in the Club's upstanding ethos and position within the rowing community. DUBC has supported Holly's next steps in her coaching career, working alongside high-performance coaches and continuing to grow and learn as a coach. Holly is enthusiastic, and excited to introduce new people into the sport of rowing; helping them on their journey through the sport and the club.

 

Contact Holly about DUBC's learn-to-row programme, sculling camps and everything Development Squad related.

 

Official webpage for the Boat Club. 

 

Cricket

 

Mel Betts - Head Cricket Coach

Mel started off as a professional cricketer himself, participating in U19s and U20s Cricket for Durham County Cricket Club. This was followed by a three-year contact with Warwickshire County Cricket Club. Mel also holds experience playing for Middlesex County Cricket Club, represented England A and England U19s, and now holds an ECB Level 4 Coaching qualification, coaching at Team Durham since 2019. 

Contact Mel with any queries relating to playing high-performance cricket at Durham. 

Official webpage for Men's Cricket.

Official webpage for Women's Cricket. 

Fencing
 
Laszlo Jakab - Lead Fencing Coach
Laszlo is one of our most experienced and decorated coaches here at Durham, with an abundance of experience in fencing. Laszlo first started coaching in 1970, now with over 50 years experience. First coaching in Hungary, Laszlo has achieved National Champion titles, and was the first coach of 3 Hungarian Olympic Medals. Laszlo moved to England in 1996 and ever since has been a critical member of Durham University Fencing Club, serving almost 26 years to Team Durham Sport and is one of our longest serving coaches. Alongside working for Durham, Laszlo was responsible for British Disabled Fencing for 15 years, and as head coach took Team GB to 3 Paralympic Games; Athens, Beijing and London. 
Laszlo's focus from 2016 diverted solely to the University Fencing Club, seeing the Men's First Team through 5 consecutive BUCS Championships, and the Women's Firsts to three finals. More recently, Laszlo seen both teams through to winning BUCS Championships, seeing the greatest success in 2021-2022 academic year. Men's First Team won the Championships, and Men's 2s won the National Trophy. Moreover, this is the 3rd Season where the club has had 4 individual medallists in the BUCS Championships. 
One of Laszlo's stand out accomplishments was the allocation of the fencing salle in 2011 at The Sport and Wellbeing Park, where later in 2015 Peter Warburton, OBE renamed the salle on behalf of Laszlo; a testimony to his time here at Durham and his accomplishments within the club. The Laszlo Jakab Fencing Salle was the first purchase-build fencing hall within the UK; a long-lasting tribute to the work Laszlo has achieved on behalf of Team Durham.
Contact Laszlo for fencing at Durham. 
Official webpage for Fencing. 
Football

 

Ellie Christon - Women's Football 1st Team Coach

After starting at Team Durham as a strength and conditioning intern, Ellie holds two key roles here at Durham University; Women's first team football coach, as well as an essential member of our Strength and Conditioning Team. With relevance to her career and coaching role in football, Ellie has made over 175 appearances for Durham Women's Football Club in the FA Championship, maintaining a playing position since 2014.  Ellie holds a UEFA B Licence to coach, and has lead the First Team since 2019. One of her greatest achievements as Head Coach was succeeding the DUWAFC First Team to BUCS National Championship Finals in 2019-2020. 

 

Read more about Ellie's Strength and Conditioning role here. 

Contact Ellie about Women's football here at Durham. 

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Adam Furness - Football Coach

Adam is a vastly experienced tutor and Coach Mentor for the FA. He is also a former FA CCD (Northumberland & Jersey) & FA Women's Technical Talent Coach (North East). His role covers coaching in grassroot football, further education and higher education backgrounds.

 

In 2015, after Durham University Men's First Team secured promotion that season, they then won Northern 2B and Northern 1A in consecutive years, under the guidance of former Durham City boss Adam Furness, to earn a place in the six-team Premier North.

 

Contact Adam about football at Durham.

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Chris Sewell - Football Coach

Chris joined Derby Futsal Club as men's first team coach in 2021. Chris adds a vast amount of experience to the team, already having a UEFA B coaching badge. He has coached in America and has a wide range of knowledge in English football, in the Women’s Super League with Durham Women. Also, in futsal, he has coached Durham Palatinates, Durham University and Newcastle Football Club.

 

Contact Chris about football at Durham.

 

Official webpage for Men's Football.

Official webpage for Women's Football. 

Futsal

 

Alan Evans - Lead Futsal Coach

Only established six years ago, Men’s Futsal has risen quickly to its current status as a Team Durham club. They are trained by FA-qualified coach Alan Evans, in an effort to help the teams become more competitive. Alan's CV is decorated with vast experience in multiple coaching roles across the North East, from coaching for the Foundation of Light at SAFC, to Women's Futsal Coach here at Durham, Men's Futsal Coach at Northumbria, Felling Magpies, Newcastle Futsal Coach and lecturing at New College Durham. Alan has almost 7 years experience working with the FA in a plethora of different roles, including tutoring, mentoring and more recently coach development and community championing. Around Alan's busy schedule, he works part-time at Durham as Lead Futsal Coach. 

 

Contact Alan for information on Futsal at Durham.

Official webpage for Durham University Futsal. 

Hockey
Gareth Weaver-Tyler - Head of Hockey

With almost 8 years experience as Head of Hockey at Team Durham, Gareth came to Durham with a strong performance sport background from both Nottingham Trent University and The University of Leeds. Not only does Gareth oversee Head of Hockey at Durham, but also holds the position of Deputy Head of Sport (coaching). Gareth boasts impressive coaching accomplishments from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, to FIH Series Finals Valencia, FIH Hockey Series Open Lithuania, FIH World League 2 Malaysia and two European Championships.

 

During his time at the club, one of Gareth's greatest achievements included being ranked the #1 BUCS University for Hockey in 2018 and 2020. Performance-wise, Gareth emboldened the promotion of the Men's 1st team into the England Hockey Premier League in 2020; attaining the highest domestic level for the first time in DUHC history. In the same successive year, both 1st teams and 2nd teams made all four BUCS National Championship Finals in 2020. Gareth also overseen the 1st team's victory of BUCS National Champions in 2018; the first time in 26 years. Out of all the success the club has achieved under Gareth's reign, his embedded Durham memory will always be seeing the journey and development of athletes within the Hockey programme, from their first steps onto the pitch to their graduation - seeing the growth of an individual both on and off the pitch. 

 

Contact Gareth as Head of Hockey.

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Alistair Addison - Lead Hockey Coach

Quite the globe-trotter, Ali has made his mark in the world of hockey, coaching from around the UK, to New Zealand and Australia. Ali started coaching as the Assistant Performance Hockey Coach at Durham back in 2016 for 2 years, before taking on a coaching role as Wales U18 Girls Head Coach. His other successes include Ipswich School Director of Hockey, England U18 Girls Assistant Coach and England U18 Boys Head Coach. Ali has recently made his debut back to Durham University as our Lead Hockey Coach. 

 

Contact Ali for all things Hockey.

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Matthew Dobison - Assistant Performance Hockey Coach

Matt is currently the lead for the DUHC Women's Hockey Programme, whilst playing in the National Premier Division for DUHC Men's 1st team. Matt held the role of First Team Head Coach for Whitley Bay and Tynemouth Hockey Club from 2016-2020, where he moved to the Head Coach role for U16 Girls at Pennine Pumas for the 2021/2022 season. 

 

Contact Matt if you are interested in women's hockey.

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Sarah Bertram - Support Coach

Sarah came as support coach to DUHC 7 years ago and during that time has worked as lead coach for the Women’s 2s and, for the last four seasons, as lead coach for the Men’s 2s. Sarah also leads our Squad B training programme. Amongst her commitment to performance coaching in the region, Sarah is currently Head Coach for the Boys Programme at the England Hockey Performance Centre.During her time at Durham, one of Sarah’s largest successes has been leading the M2s to promotion into the National League North Conference, as well as making BUCS finals in the 2019/2020 season. It was also one of Sarah’s proudest moments to lead the W2s to DUHCs first win of the day at BUCS finals in 2018, a day she will never forget!

 

Contact Sarah with any queries on playing for the 2nd teams at Durham. 

 

Official webpage for Durham University Hockey.

Judo

 

Edward Ferrie - Judo Lead Coach

As a performance athlete, Eddie took home the gold at the British Junior Trials in 1977. Eddie now coaches the Judo team here at Durham.

 

Contact Eddie for information on Judo at Durham.

Official webpage for Durham University Judo. 

Karate

 

Sam Light - Karate Lead Coach

Sam has a strong history as a performance athlete in Karate, a second Dan blackbelt by the age of 14, invited to the England Squad trials. Sam's most recent successes at Northern Regionals in 2019 brought him home a gold in Adult Team Kata, silver in Senior Male Individual Kumite and Senior Male Team Kumite, and a bronze in Senior Male Dan Grade Kata. Sam is a coach and a mentor for our Team Durham karate athletes.

 

Contact Sam for information on Karate at Durham.

Official webpage for Durham University Karate. 

Netball

 

Georgia Donohue - Netball Coach

Georgia started her career as a player on Team Durham's Junior Netball Programme, where she developed a passion for the sport, whether that be playing, coaching or umpiring. She began as a volunteer coach at the age of 14, resulting in holding coaching positions at North Durham and South Durham and Cleveland County academies. Georgia only recently began coaching for DUNC in the 2021/22 season, seeing 3 league promotions and 2 cup wins. Georgia's key commitments are to achieve full club-athlete development and creating an inclusive environment for athletes to progress within the sport, as well as strengthening the position of netball within the North East. Her greatest sporting highlight to date is travelling to South Africa, to play and learn from experienced coaches and athletes.

 

Contact Georgia about netball here at Durham. 

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Geraldine Williams - Netball Coach

In her other roles, Gel is a netball coach and a publican at Grangetown Netball. In 2019, Gel was nominated for Coach/Mentor of the Year - Gazette Sports Awards. She fulfils a part-time coaching job at Durham with the DUNC squad.

 

Contact Geraldine about netball here at Durham.

Official webpage for Netball.

Rugby

 

Alex Keay - Head of Rugby 

Alex is another one of our longstanding coaches here at Durham, representing Durham University RFU since 2010. During his playing career, Alex played and captained Saracens Rugby and represented The Barbarian Football Club, a British invitational rugby union club. A respected coach in the rugby community, Alex holds an RFU Level 4 Senior Coach qualification, and is not short of supplying Durham with brilliant memories, including becoming BUCS Super Rugby Champions for the 2019/2020 Season. 

Alex counts himself lucky and attributes his successes to the team around him; surrounding Durham RFU in unforgettable memories including going 3 years in a row to Twickenham, doing the double 7s and 15s, only losing once in his first 64 games, watching the 2s do the Cup and league double against other University 1stv XVs, watching the 3s /4s and 5s win leagues and Cups, and winning BUCS Super Rugby in 2019-20 and back to back champions this year 2021-22. These are all fantastic achievements and ones he will cherish for the rest of his coaching career.

 

Taking Durham RFU on tour to the USA, Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand has provided Alex with rich memories and quality time getting to know the students he watches on the field. Alex takes pride in all of his athletes, witnessing so many players to go on to become professionals in the Premiership and to go on to represent England. It's an honour to be at the start of that pathway and has been a privilege to coach and enjoy the company of so many top people.

 

During an exclusive interview with Dunelm, Alex reported "probably my best memory of the season was over 3000 people watching the club against Northumbria for the charity ‘Sport in Action’. Whilst the result was especially pleasing, the way the Club worked together as one to make it such a great occasion reflects what is best about DURFC – no wonder the crowd sing “I just can’t get enough!”. Read more here

 

Contact Alex about Durham RFU.

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Si Culley - Performance Rugby Coach

Another jet-setter includes our performance rugby coach, Si, who has travelled the world to deliver successful rugby programmes in the likes of New Zealand, Canada and Australia. Si is an experienced, driven and successful rugby coach who has worked with representative and contracted players for 15 years. Si's coaching style has enabled him to gel into Durham RFU since his inauguration of the role in 2019, with a track record of delivering on-field success in exceptionally competitive environments, not only through high-quality, player-centred, delivery but also by developing a positive culture and building a strong team identity. Si is a previous alumnus to Durham University and RFU, and since his return has coached both Men and Women's first teams to BUCS Super Rugby league titles in the same season. 

 

Si brings to the table 15 seasons of BUCS rugby coaching experience, including 3 seasons coaching club rugby in New Zealand. His CV is showered in coaching CPD and success, such as World Rugby Coach Educator, won NZRU Performance Coaching Award, Completing RFU Level 4 in 2022 and is a TASS Talented Athlete Lifestyle Advisor. A key highlight in Si's player performance profiles has been seeing his players go on to play for England Men and Women, England U20s Men & Women, All Blacks 7s, Black Ferns, Wellington Lions, Wellington Hurricanes & Canada Men and Women.

 

Contact Si about playing rugby here at Durham.

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Cam Henderson - Women's Rugby Coach and Strength and Conditioning

 DUWRFC was founded 35 years ago by Cameron Henderson, who still leads the club and this rich history of rugby excellence has fostered international talent in both 15s and 7s. CAm has been at the helm for over three and a half decades, developing DUWRFC into the largest University Women's Club in the UK. 

 

Contact Cam about Women's Rugby at Durham.

Official webpage for Durham University Men's Rugby Union.

Official webpage for Durham University Women's Rugby Union.

Squash
 
Mark Shipley - Lead Squash Coach

Mark is a Level-4 Performance Squash Coach, and whilst he coaches Durham University's Squash Team, he is also a freelance coach, England Squash Tutor and Assessor. Mark was also the Regional Manager for England Squash for over 10 years. Prior to coaching, Mark was a professional football player based in Pontefract. He holds a postgraduate diploma in high performance sports coaching.

Contact Mark on playing squash at Durham.

Official webpage for Durham's Squash Club. 

Table Tennis

 

Jonny Higgins - Lead Table Tennis Coach

Jonny is an alumnus to Durham University Table Tennis, as well as held the position of club president in his reign. As a performance player, Jonny is a former top-20 ranked player, National 4* tournament winner, 5x National 2* tournament winner, 3x Regional Championship Winner, 5x County Championships winner and BUCS Northern Division 1 winner. Jonny now holds the role of lead table tennis coach here at Durham. 

Contact Jonny if you are interested in competitive table tennis.

Official webpage for Table Tennis at Durham. 

Table Tennis

Volleyball

Dave Goodchild (Head Volleyball Coach)

What is your club's greatest achievement?

"One of our greatest achievements was when the women beat Northumbria in the BUCS semi-final after trailing 2-0."

What is your favourite Durham sporting memory?

"It has to be making all 4 National finals in the 2019/20 season, we were, unfortunately, unable to play due to COVID-19."