Rugby is a team sport.
So is coaching. Nearly two dozen people comprise the coaching staff of the Glendale Raptors. The staff is led by the director of rugby, a position Mark Bullock has held since the Raptors’ founding. The director oversees the development of every branch of the Raptors organization and works to bring its long-term vision to life. Head coaches for each team, Dave Williams for the men and Kittery Ruiz for the women, are joined by assistant coaches and strength and conditioning experts. The robust coaching staff signifies the kind of professionally-run organization, on par with major sports teams, that the Raptors pride themselves on being. More importantly, the emphasis on cultivating leadership has led to big results: Both men’s and women’s teams are consistently among the best teams in the country, and both have brought multiple national championships back to Glendale.
Director of Rugby / D2 Head Coach
Men's Head Coach
Women's Head Coach
- Morris Women’s Rugby 2000-2002
- Beantown RFC 2002-2011
- Glendale Women’s RFC 2011-2014
- Northeast Select Side 7s and 15s: 2001-2011
- West Select Side 15s 2012
- USA 15s 2007-2014
- USA 7s 2008-2009
- World Cup 7s Training Squad 2009
- World Cup 15s 2010 and 2014
- St Lawrence University Women’s Forwards Coach
- West Select Side 7s Head Coach
Kitt recently retired from both domestic and international rugby and is making the transition to coaching. She will be working along side Jamie Burke as one of the forwards coaches, as well as a lineout specialist.
Men's Assistant Coach
Women's Fowards Coach
- UVA Women’s Rugby 1998-2003
- D.C. Furies 2004-2005
- Berkeley All-Blues 2005-2008
- Beantown RFC 2008-2011
- Raleigh Venom 2011-2012
- Glendale Women’s RFC 2013-2014
- MARFU Select Side 2001-2005
- Pac Coast Select Side 2007-2008
- Northeast Select Side 15s 2009-2011
- USA 15s 2004-2014
- World Cup 15s 2006, 2010, and 2014
- University of Virginia Women’s Assistant Forwards Coach
- Northern California Select Side Head Coach
- Raleigh Venom Assistant Coach
Jamie recently retired from both domestic and international rugby and is making the transition to coaching and reffing after a decade on the pitch as a prop for USA Women’s National team. She will be bringing her years of experience in the tight five to bear as one of the forwards coaches, focusing specifically on the scrum and contact point.
Men's D3 Head Coach
Men's D3 Assistant Coach
Women's Backs Coach
Women's D1 Head Coach
Women's D1 Backs Coach
Men's Assistant Coach
Men's Assistant Coach
John has represented the Glendale Raptors as a player and a coach. John first joined the club in 2009 as a journeyman forward having played around the world with the majority of his career in St. Louis, Mo. for the Super League’s St. Louis Bombers. After winning the USA Rugby Men’s Division I Club Championship with Glendale in 2011, he hung up his boots and focused on coaching the DII side. In 2012, John moved to Vail, Colo. for a professional opportunity and started coaching the local Vail RFC. After coaching Vail to two undefeated seasons and the Mountain Division triple crown, he has rejoined Glendale as the DII Forwards coach in the spring and fall while maintaining his role for Vail in the summer.
Born in Kansas City, Mo., Dan played forward for London Welsh, the Old Blues of Christ’s Hospital and the Denver Harlequins. He represented the Eastern Rockies U23 and Men’s side. Dan graduated from Regis University in Denver.
Women's Team Manager
Nico Rithner founded USA Kettlebell Lifting in 2009 and started the kettlebell-lifting endurance sport of BOLT. By 2011 this sport was being practiced abroad and the organization became the International Kettlebell Lifting Federation. USAKL is the United States branch of IKLF. The IKLF provide educations courses and a certification process for kettlebell-lifting instructors and a kettlebell-lifting endurance competition league. Nico is the chief instructor of these certification courses.
Nico is Colorado Kettlebell Club’s head coach. Colorado Kettlebell Club is a gym located in Denver where coach Rithner training methods are taught.
Nico owns and coaches the Colorado Weightlifting Club, an Olympic weightlifting facility.
Nico has been the strength and conditioning coach for the Glendale Raptors First Team Men since 2007. During this period the Raptors made it to the DI Championship three times and won in 2011.
Nico authored the book “Essentials of Kettlebell Lifting” and has been presenting on kettlebell lifting for prestigious organizations such as the National Strength and Conditioning Association, U.S. Army, USA Men’s Eagles Sevens, law enforcement agencies, fire departments and University of Colorado Colorado Springs. In addition he has provided training and instruction on kettlebell lifting to SWAT teams, Army Special Forces, firefighters, and athletes of all levels.
USAKL-IKLF chief instructor; USAW; NSCA-CPT; RGSF instructor, IKFF-CKT; TRX fitness instructor; TRX FORCE instructor; CrossFit L1
Men's Assistant Coach
Men's Assistant Coach
Dr. Amy Valenta
Dr. Amy Valenta PT, DPT, OCS, MTC has been the Medical Coordinator for the Glendale Raptors since 2007 and is the owner of Denver Back Pain Specialists, Catalyst Athletic Performance and Infinity Physical Therapy and Sport Rehabilitation. She is a Colorado native and completed her doctorate at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center where she received the Mary Gosnell Award for Clinical Excellence.
Since 2002 Dr. Valenta has traveled extensively with rugby teams throughout the world and has been fortunate enough to work with athletes from USA Rugby, Select Side teams, as well as, many club and high school programs.
While Dr. Valenta specializes in the treatment of rugby athletes, she has also worked with professional football, hockey, lacrosse and soccer players. Amy brings a wealth of experience in treating rugby specific injuries to the team and is an invaluable resource for keeping players healthy and competitive.
Jeff Horgan (MS, NASM PES, and NASE) has been in athletic training for nearly eight years, and with the Raptors organization for three.
Whittney Findley MAT, LAT, ATC has been an athletic trainer for seven years. Before joining the Raptors organization, she worked with numerous athletic programs in both Kansas and Colorado. Much of her experience is with contact sports, including football, lacrosse, soccer, and wrestling. In addition to athletic training, Whittney has a background in education and has taught high school Health and Sports Medicine courses.
She completed her undergraduate degree in Athletic Training at the University of Central Missouri. She then received her master’s degree in Health Education from East Carolina University, where she was also a graduate assistant athletic trainer.
Whittney enjoys working with athletes of all ages and all sports. She appreciates the opportunity she has keeping athletes healthy and playing the game that they love. In her free time, Whittney enjoys good food, cycling, and photography.
Dr. Trainor is a team physician for the Glendale Raptors Rugby Program. He specializes in non-surgical intervention and is a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). Dr. Trainor currently practices at Denver Back Pain Specialists. He specializes in the treatment of the spine, as well as, evaluation and treatment of all musculoskeletal conditions including sprains/strains, tendonitis, bursitis and non-surgical fractures.
He did his residency and fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where he received world class training in the management of acute and chronic sports and musculoskeletal related injuries. He has a special interest in using ultrasound-guidance to precisely deliver regenerative therapies (including platelet rich plasma (PRP) and stem cells) to treat both joint and tendon disorders.
Dr. Trainor finds working with athletes very rewarding and appreciates their drive and motivation to get back to competition after a sidelining injury. His primary goal in treating sports-related injuries is to methodically and safely return the athlete to play. In his free time, he enjoys weight training, cycling, running, and any other activity that allows him to be outside and active.
Dr. DaRosa is a team physician for the Glendale Raptors Men and Women’s Rugby teams. He is a non-surgical sports medicine physician at Denver Sports Medicine-SCL Physicians and cares for athletes and patients of all ages. He specializes in concussion management and the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions of all joints including sprains, strains, tendonitis, cartilage injury, bursitis, back/neck pain, and non-surgical fractures.
Dr. DaRosa loves caring for high school athletes as well and is a medical director for Denver Public School’s Sports Medicine Department. He has also served as team physician for the Indy Eleven professional soccer team, Indy Fuel professional hockey team, the Indianapolis Colts, as well as for multiple colleges and high schools since 2008.
Dr. DaRosa completed residency training at Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver. Dr. DaRosa completed a sports medicine fellowship at Indiana University in Indianapolis.
Dr. Joseph Vear DC, MS, CCEP is a sports chiropractor and owner of True Form Chiropractic here in south Denver. He completed his Doctorate of Chiropractic at Life University in Atlanta Ga, prior to moving to Denver with his wife Adrienne. While in Atlanta Dr. Vear worked with the medical staff at Life University treating all of their athletes while finishing his masters in Sports Health Science. He played college football for Hillsdale College prior to going to chiropractic college and has personal experience dealing with sports related injuries and what it takes to get athletes back on the field safe and effectively.