Meet the staff!

A leader is one who knows

the way, goes the way, and

shows the way. —John Maxwell

Alan Hopper:

Alan is a middle school teacher in the local area and uses his ability to work with kids to train humble athletes on and off the pitch. 

Alan played rugby at Oregon State University where he learned a deep love for 7s rugby from his coach, USA eagle Troy Hall. Alan is currently a level 200 coach, training with the Oregon Sharks. He is specializing in defensive structures and approaches. He currently operates as a player coach and provides an on field coaching influence. Alan plans to begin coaching youth rugby in the future and is excited to work with the Sharks moving forward.

Daniel “Drae” Charles:

Drae Charles is a licensed, Private Investigator and Security Operations Consultant.  He uses his knowledge of the game, as well as his understanding of its cultural and personal impacts, to bring new participants to the sport, to engage local communities through team projects and events, and to utilize his experience and programs to impact individuals positively. As a level 200 coach, he specializes as the Sharks attack and game management coach. He sustains an athlete’s motivation by setting challenging yet attainable goals to allow each athlete to reach their fullest potential—not just as players but as people. Drae is currently President and player/coach of the Oregon Sharks Sevens Team.  He brings formidable rugby development and project management experience to the club. As a player, he has participated in club and representative rugby at the sub-union and union level.  In addition, he has prodigious sevens experience, and his leadership on and off the field have positioned the Hooligan’s Select Sevens Side as a Nationally-competitive side.  He lives in Eugene, Oregon.

James Tyson:

Xelas Consulting, LLC: James Tyson is a corporate consultant and is the Managing Partner of Xelas Consulting.  As a coach, James is a 300 Level Coach, certified through USA Rugby.  He has worked as a coach for 16 years in the Midwest, Pacific, Pacific Northwest, and Montana rugby unions.  He currently specializes in break-down, set-piece development, and mental training for the Oregon Sharks, an invitational touring side.  He played for D1A Big 10 Champions Indiana University.  While at Indiana, he played representative rugby at the sub-union, union, and territorial level.  Following graduation, James moved to South Africa where he played in the Northern Transvaal’s Carlton League (Division 1/Reserve) in Pretoria, South Africa.  Upon return from South Africa—and after a brief stopover in Europe—he joined the Louisville Rugby Club and returned to representative rugby in the Midwest Union.  In 1995, he joined the Tempe Old Devils, a perennial D2 powerhouse. In 1998, James moved to Stanford University to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology (2003).  He lives in Salem, Oregon.

Marinus Van Der Watt:

Marinus Van Der Watt is the Director of Rugby for the International Rugby Institute’s partnership with Sharks Rugby.  Marinus has undergone rigorous academic training to prepare for his professional coaching career.  In addition to earning a diploma in rugby theory and practice, he is an IRB Certified Coach in Sevens (L2), Rugby Union (L3), and a qualified IRB Educator.  He has studied under international coaches Nick Mallet, Jake White, and Rudi Joubert and worked as a skills consultant for the South Korean, Canadian, and German Rugby Unions.  He ensures that he stays abreast of the latest developments in rugby training through continuing education courses.

He began coaching professionally in 1994 and remains dedicated to helping players develop skills that will provide an opportunity for them to compete at the highest level.  He has alumni playing in some of the top professional leagues in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the Southern Hemisphere (i.e., (Super Rugby). Beyond rugby union, he coached Blitzboks’ Sevens stars Impi Visser and Tshotsho Mbovane.

He began coaching at the provincial level after joining the Blue Bulls as senior sevens coach (2005).  He coached the Blue Bulls Sevens Side to three consecutive National Championships (2015,2016, 2017).  He reached the finals of the Carlton Cup as head coach of the University of Pretoria Rugby Club (2007, 2008). 

He currently serves as Director of Rugby for the International Rugby Institute in Pretoria, South Africa, and supervises all domestic and international coaching initiatives.

Ken Ikeda (Civic IP):

A former public media CEO and nonprofit Executive Director, organizations under Ken’s direction have secured $150m+ in private equity investment and philanthropic support; managed an $8.5m loan fund; worked with Sundance, MOMA, Merce Cunningham, HUD, NEA, PBS, NPR, NSF and DOL; negotiated over $300m in mergers and acquisitions that grew public radio’s audience reach by 65 million+ listeners; consulted with over 250 public broadcasting station GM’s and University Trustees; oversaw the country’s first 10 GB municipal fiber optic networked arts NGO; co-authored the National Public Lightpath white paper on the future of public broadband adopted by NPR, PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; trained over 20,000 incumbent digital media employees for companies as diverse as Pandora, Pixar and Wells Fargo; and recognized by the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius award” for organizations (, now titled the Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

Our Partners USA Rugby: 

USA Rugby is the national governing

body for the sport of rugby in America,

and a Full Sport Member of the United

States Olympic Committee (USOC) and World Rugby

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